Los Angeles police found the body of Maleesa Mooney, 31, in her refrigerator on September 12 after her mother requested a welfare check because she hadn't been in touch with her daughter. Upon entering Mooney's apartment, officers said food that's normally refrigerated was out on the counter while the 31-year-old was inside the refrigerator with her wrists and ankles bound. Clothing was stuffed in Mooney's mouth and wrapped around her neck.
According to an autopsy report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, Mooney's cause of death was listed as homicidal violence. David Marcinek, the lead detective on Mooney's homicide, told KTLA that he's never investigated a case with a "homicidal violence" cause of death.
The autopsy report also noted that Mooney suffered blunt force trauma to her head and neck, a "triangular" cut on her forehead, abrasions front and back, and marks from being tied up. Drug tests indicated “recent cocaine use," according to the report.
“The blunt force traumatic injuries observed at autopsy are generally not considered life-threatening on their own,” the report stated. “However, based on the circumstances of how Ms. Mooney was found, these injuries suggest she was likely involved in [a] violent physical altercation prior to her death.”
Marcinek believes Mooney succumbed to the "totality" of her injuries.
According to Marcinek, detectives have received tips and reviewed security footage from Mooney's apartment but no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact LAPD’s Central Bureau Homicide unit at (213) 996-4150.