Model Maleesa Mooney Found Dead at 31

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In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2023

The modeling world has lost a star.

Maleesa Mooney, who also worked as a real estate agent, was found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment on Sept. 12, according to NBC News, citing police. She was 31.

No cause of death has been shared. However, her death is being investigated as a homicide, Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Tony Im told NBC News.

Officers found Mooney’s body around 4 p.m. when responding to a welfare check call. Bailey Babb, her cousin, told local outlet KTLA that family members reported concern when Mooney suddenly dropped all communication.

“When a week went by, we just knew something was off,” Babb recalled. “Her messages weren’t delivering and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa.”

Mooney’s sister Jourdin Pauline, a Guyanese pop star, grieved her death on Instagram Sept. 14, writing, “never in a million years did I think I’d have to make this post and get justice for my one & only sister.”

“My heart is crushed,” Pauline captioned a family album of photos. “I can’t believe you won’t be here with us anymore. You were so loving and so kind to everyone. You made sure if you ate, everyone around you was, too. You opened your arms to people who didn’t deserve you as a friend. You’re the best thing to happen to almost everyones lives. You touched!!!”


Mooney’s body was discovered two days after fellow model Nichole Coats was also found dead in her downtown L.A. apartment. However, per NBC, police said the two cases are unrelated.

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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