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San Diego Sheriff's Department Attempts To Explain Rebecca Zahau’s Stunning Autopsy Report


Sep. 7 2011, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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By Jen Heger - Legal Editor

The San Diego Sheriff's Department is seeking to explain some of the most controversial revelations in Rebecca Zahau's autopsy report, which weren't addressed at a news conference last Friday, when Zahau's death was ruled to be a suicide.

The most stunning development was that Zahau, 32, had part of her own T-shirt stuffed in her mouth at time of death, but Jonah Shacknai's brother, Adam, who found Rebecca's body, removed it before cops turned up.

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In a news release the Sheriff's department sent out Tuesday night, the San Diego Medical Examiner says: "The T-shirt that was around Rebecca's neck had a portion originally in her mouth that was removed by the person who found her. It is not clear why it was there, although people can place material in their mouth prior to hanging."

A substance that was found to be similar to tape residue was found on Rebecca's legs, and according to the San Diego Medical Examiner's office: "Sticky material that appeared similar to tape residue was noted on her mid left shin and right lower leg. These were small area areas (about an inch), and their significance is not clear. Their position and size would have been unusual evidence of leg binding."

The autopsy had also revealed that Rebecca sustained trauma to her head prior to death.

"Bruises on the right of her scalp were also seen. These were relatively minor. Because there was evidence that she went over the balcony in a non-vertical position, she may have struck her head on the balcony on the way down," Dr. Jonathan Lucas, of the San Diego Medical Examiner's Office says.

Also, blood was found on Rebecca's inner thighs, and the San Diego Medical Examiner claims: "Blood was found on her inner thighs and the source was either menses or spotting attributed to an IUD. There was no genital trauma. A small amount of blood was also noted on her big toes which appeared to be due to small scratches from the plants below the balcony."

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In conclusion, the San Diego Medical Examiner firmly stands by their findings that Rebecca Zahau committed suicide: "As in any comprehensive investigation, some findings cannot be entirely explained. None of the observations listed above are inconsistent with the conclusions reached regarding the cause and manner of death of Rebecca Zahau. Our condolences go out to all of those involved in this tragic case."

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Jonah Shacknai Attends Girlfriend Rebecca Zahau’s Funeral

As has previously reported, Zahau was found dead at her boyfriend’s mansion in Coronado, California in July -- two days after her boyfriend's son, 6, fell and broke his neck while under her care. He later died from the accident.

Her family refuses to accept that she committed suicide and are calling for the case to be reopened and reexamined.



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