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Man arrested in brutal slaying of LA model whose body was found in refrigerator

Screenshot of a GoFundMe memorial page for Maleesa Mooney, who was found dead Sept. 12, 2023, in her Los Angeles apartment. (GoFundMe screenshot/TNS)

A Minnesota man has been arrested as a suspect in the September killing of Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old model and real estate agent in Los Angeles who was pregnant at the time of her death, police announced Wednesday.

Mooney was found dead Sept. 12 in her downtown apartment after her family requested a welfare check, police said. According to an autopsy report, her body was found in her refrigerator at the bloody crime scene. Her arms and legs had been bound, and Mooney had blunt-force trauma injuries to her head, neck, torso, arms, wrists and ankles, according to the autopsy report from the L.A. County Medical Examiner Department.

LAPD detectives identified 41-year-old Magnus Daniel Humphrey of Hopkins, Minn., as her alleged killer. Officials did not share a possible motive on Wednesday or discuss evidence that reportedly linked Humphrey to Mooney’s brutal death.

Humphrey, who had been on federal probation, was arrested at his home in Minnesota on an unrelated federal warrant, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. It wasn’t immediately clear what day he was arrested. He is to be transported to L.A. soon to face charges of murder and torture, according to officials and court records.

Humphrey is accused in court records of killing Mooney on Sept. 7, five days before she was found dead.

On Sept. 6, Mooney had spoken with her cousin over FaceTime, her family said, and had gone out with friends in Santa Monica. Her family never heard from her again.

Jourdin Pauline, Mooney’s sister, said Mooney’s phone and laptop had been stolen from her apartment along with a designer purse. In October, she told The Times that whoever killed her sister most likely knew the phone’s passcode, as someone was sending the family “vague” texts. Pauline didn’t elaborate on the text messages.

Mooney, who was two months pregnant at the time of her death, worked for Nest Seekers, a Beverly Hills real estate agency, for nearly two years, Pauline said. Mooney also modeled part time.


© 2024 Los Angeles Times

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