Family hopes for answers in death of model found dead in DTLA apartment

Two models have been found dead in their downtown Los Aneles apartments less than a mile away from each other just days apart, and both of their deaths are under investigation.

Maleesa Mooney, was found dead in her apartment on Sept. 12. The Los Angeles Police Department said she was murdered. Two days earlier, Nichole Coats was found dead inside her apartment.

For the Coats family, the mood is heavy, so is the grief, as they process Nichole Coats' death. Sharon Coats is her mother. She said her daughter's death has been devastating to the family. 

"I'm speechless right now," said Sharon Coats. "I'm hurt, I'm heartbroken."

One of Nichole's aunts called her "a beacon of light. She lit up the room when she came in. She was always smiling."

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Her family said Nichole Coats was bigger than life, had a great personality, was a loving person and didn't have any enemies that they know of, but Sharon Coats and her sisters all think foul play was involved in Nichole Coats' death.

"From what I've seen in her bed… I screamed when I saw it because there was a lot of blood," said Sharon Coats.

Her parents, who are divorced, have different opinions. Guy Coats is Nichole's father. 

"My initial reaction was it looked that she might have just went in her sleep," he said. But, he said, he wants to think that until a coroner's report says otherwise, if that's the conclusion. Guy Coats said he wants to remember the last time he saw his daughter, the Thursday before she died. 

While there is some family disagreement, they all agree that there's something very strange about Mooney's death, two days after Nichole Coats' 

"Both girls were models. One was 31, and one was 31. The similarities are there," said May Stevens-Clay, Coats' aunt. "They both lived in the same neighborhood…"

Coats' and Mooney's cause of death remain under investigation. Authorities have not indicated if they believe the two cases are related. The Coats family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses, which can be found by clicking here.