CEO's Hanged Girlfriend Didn't Kill Herself: Sister

The two spoke on the phone the night before she was found dead
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 10:07 AM CDT

More details, but still no answers in the bizarre case of Rebecca Nalepa, the 32-year-old girlfriend of pharmaceutical CEO Jonah Shacknai who was found hanging in his mansion a week ago. Police are still trying to determine if it was a suicide or homicide, but Nalepa's sister believes she didn't take her own life. Nalepa "was a beautiful, vibrant, loving and kind person and she would never do this to herself," Mary Zahau-Loehner tells ABC News.

The two spoke the night before Nalepa was found dead. "She was going to call mom and dad the next morning and text me throughout the day with updates on Max," who fell down the stairs at the same home last Monday, and died on Sunday. Continues Zahau-Loehner, "She was very hopeful. She had to be strong and there for Jonah," who she had dated for three years. Nalepa was found naked, with her hands and feet bound, but police say they've seen hands tied that way in other suicides. "We have had other cases in the past where people have used creative ways to commit suicide," says a San Diego sheriff spokesman. (Read more Jonah Shacknai stories.)

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