Family desperate for answers after 32-year-old model found dead in DTLA apartment

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ByElena Gomez KABC logo

Sunday, September 17, 2023 4:36PM

Family desperate for answers after model found dead in DTLA apartment

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The family of a 32-year-old model who was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment is desperate for answers as police investigate the death of another model who was also found in the same area.

Nichole Coats was found dead last weekend, and her family is still in shock.

“I was so distraught… I just felt like everything was moving in slow motion. And I still am in shock… in denial that she’s not here,” said her cousin, Sheniya Mason.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers responded to the Eighth & Grand Apartments on Sept. 10 to conduct a welfare check. Her father also checked on her daughter and she was found dead inside.

Coats lived alone in her downtown L.A. apartment. Her family thinks that her death feels a bit suspicious based on how she was found.

“It just didn’t look right to us.. Didn’t look right how she was positioned in the bed. She was even unrecognizable… as if she’d been beat. They had to (identify) her by her tattoos,” Mason said.

Mason added that alarms went off in her head when she recently saw a similar story of a woman named Malessa Mooney, who was also found dead inside her apartment in the Bunker Hill area. Her death is now being investigated as a homicide.

“We just want to know what happened… It just doesn’t seem right… Is there a correlation between these two females? Is there a correlation? They were both almost in the same area… we need to make sure that this isn’t something else because it just didn’t seem right.”

The LAPD says it is only looking into it as a death investigation, and that nothing nefarious was found.

As they wait for more answers, Sheniya is remembering her cousin as the vibrant and loving person that she was.

“This is our reality now, living without her… I know it’s not going to hit for a while, until the holidays come up… She’s not gonna walk in the door… It still has not hit me. It has not, but I just know I love her and I will forever love her. I just want her spirit and her legacy to live on.”

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