Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Woman found dead at Spreckels Mansion was owner's girlfriend

July 14, 2011 |  4:00 am

This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

The woman found dead at the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado was the 32-year-old girlfriend of the home's current owner, the San Diego County Sheriff''s Department announced late Wednesday.

The body of Rebecca Nalepa was found in the courtyard of the 27-room mansion on Ocean Boulevard on Wednesday morning. No cause of death has been announced, but the Sheriff's Department labeled it suspicious and violent.

The owner of the home is Jonah Shacknai, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Among the company's products are an acne drug and a competitor of Botox.

The company issued a statement Wednesday that the Shacknai family is "deeply saddened to learn of a tragic incident" at the home.

The Arizona Republic newspaper quoted the mother of Shacknai's ex-wife as saying the couple's 6-year-old son was seriously injured in a fall Monday from the grand staircase at the mansion and is in the hospital.

Nancy Romano told the newspaper that her daughter, Dina, and Shacknai have been continuously at the hospital with the boy. Romano's daughter also lives in Coronado.

The Sheriff's Department homicide squad is handling the death case under an agreement with the Coronado Police Department.

Coronado police and firefighters came to the home early Wednesday morning after receiving an emergency call about a woman "in distress." Investigators have said only that the call came from a male guest at the home.

KGTV-TV reported that footage from its news helicopter showed a woman's naked body in the grass courtyard of the home.

The mansion was built in 1908 by John D. Spreckels, whose holdings once included the Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego newspapers.

[For the Record, 12:28 p.m. July 14: An earlier version of this post included a photo of a tour guide pointing out details of what was said to be the Spreckels Mansion. That 2002 photo was of the Glorietta Bay Inn; at one time it was the residence of John D. Spreckels, but it is not the 27-room mansion on Ocean Boulevard where Rebecca Nalepa's body was found.]


LAPD memo criticizes figure in Shaquille O'Neal kidnapping case

Girlfriend of Dodger Stadium beating suspect arrested in Las Vegas

'Inappropriate relationship' may be motive in severing of penis, source says

-- Tony Perry in San Diego