A decomposed body discovered in a shallow grave in Northern California is believed to be that of a missing young Hollywood model and aspiring actress, Adea Shabani, police announced Tuesday.
Police said a North Hollywood actor, believed to be the missing model’s boyfriend, killed himself following a dramatic police chase last week, and the authorities believe he was involved in her death.
Los Angeles Police Capt. William P. Hayes said the body was discovered in the Spenceville Wildlife Area about 40 miles north of Sacramento. The dead body can only be positively identified following an autopsy, which is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday, Hayes added.
However, investigators believe it is that of the 25-year-old model who had moved to Hollywood from Macedonia and was last seen on Feb. 23 near the 1700 block of Wilcox Avenue, between Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
“At this point in time we believe that those remains are the body of Miss Adea Shabani. We cannot say that conclusively at this point in time because the conditions of the remains prohibited positive identification,” Hayes said at a news conference Tuesday at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters.
“We also believe that … Christopher Spotz was somehow involved in her death and we believe this to be a homicide, however, until the conclusion of the autopsy and our ability to examine the evidence related to the recovery of that evidence we won’t be able to determine that definitively,” he added.
He stated that the actual cause of death would only be determined after the results of Wednesday’s autopsy.
On Feb. 23 Shabani was last seen leaving her home with a fellow aspiring actor named Christopher Spotz, 33, who fatally shot himself last week during a police chase in Riverside County.
Hayes explained that the pair was leaving for a trip to Northern California. A missing report was filed two days later and Spotz had eventually released a statement through his lawyer saying that the pair had gotten into a fight during the trip. He also claimed that he dropped the model off in the Santa Clarita area and never saw her again.
Hayes said the investigators doubt whatever Spotz claimed about the disappearance.
Shabani and Spotz had both been studying at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theater in Hollywood.
“We are devastated,” said John Jack Rodgers, the Academy’s executive director, recalling that she was “growing immensely” in her craft. “She held nothing back.”
Shabani moved from Macedonia and had been in Los Angeles less than two years, according to her friends.
Emma Joe, Shabani’s friend, told KTLA that it was not like the aspiring actress to lose contact with her loved ones for this long, after Shabani’s disappearance.
“This is not her, this is not her,” Joe had said to the television station. “Something is going on with her, we don’t know where she is. It’s just so sad, we’re just hoping she’s alive.”
Her family had hired a private investigator to find her and offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to Shabani’s whereabouts after she went missing in February.