Los Angeles police have said they believe a body that was found decomposing in a shallow grave in northern California might belong to actress Adea Shabani who disappeared from Los Angeles last month.
The body was found on Monday, March 26, in Dry Creek in the Spenceville Wildlife Area about 50 miles north of Sacramento. An autopsy will be conducted on March 28 to determine the identity of the body and the cause of death.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 28, 2018
“At this point in time, we believe that those remains are the body of Ms. Adea Shabani,” William Hayes, commanding officer of LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division, said at a press conference on March 27.
“We cannot say that conclusively at this point in time because the condition of the remains prohibited positive identification.
“We believe this to be a homicide,” he added.
Shabani, 25, was reported missing by her family on Feb. 25 after they were unable to contact her for several days. Shabani had moved from Macedonia to Southern California two months before she disappeared, reported CBS News.
Police Double Down On Their Search Efforts For Missing Actress @AdeaShabani Following The Suicide Of Her Boyfriend !
On Thursday night, Adea Ex-boyfriend, shot himself to death, and the police are seeking out the missing Actress/Model who disappeared from Los Angeles last month. pic.twitter.com/29GjisUlX8
— Rachid Enna (@LostRachid) March 24, 2018
Hayes said they believe Christopher Spotz, an actor who was believed to have been in a romantic relationship with Shabani, was “somehow involved in her death” even though he denied any wrongdoing before he shot and killed himself during a police standoff on March 22.
Police said Shabani was last seen on a security camera near her home around 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 23 when she left her residence in Hollywood with 33-year-old Spotz. The pair were traveling up to northern California, according to police.
Hayes said a lawyer for Spotz previously told investigators that the pair got into an argument on the same day while driving through Santa Clarita, reported NY Daily News. The lawyer said Spotz then dropped Shabani off on the side of the freeway in the area and has not seen her since. However, police said they currently do not have information to corroborate Spotz’s statement.
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) March 24, 2018
“We don’t believe that that’s true,” Hayes said during the press conference.
“We have no corroborating information that supports his statements that he had an argument with her and put her out on the side of the freeway,” he added.
Earlier in the investigation, police said they had traveled to the home of Spotz’s parents in Northern California to gather more information. At that time, Spotz was spending time with his fiancée in Colorado.
Police then decided to placed a want on Spotz’s vehicle — a 2015 Toyota Tacoma truck — in order to conduct further investigations.
Spotz and his car were eventually found by police on March 22 in the area of the 10 and 15 freeway, but when authorities tried to stop him, he fled the scene leading to a police chase. The chase ended at the Green River Road exit off of the 91 freeway in Riverside County where he then committed suicide in his pickup truck.
The California Highway Patrol said he’d been driving a Toyota pickup truck that had a weapon that had “possibly been used in a homicide which had occurred in Los Angeles County,” reported the news station.
The police investigation is ongoing. No further details have been provided.