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Zahau family takes fight to reopen mansion death to 'Dr. Phil'

November 15, 2011 | 10:06 am

Dr. Phil
The family of a woman found hanging naked inside a Coronado mansion told television host Dr. Phil McGraw on Monday that the case should be re-opened.

Rebecca Zahau's family went on national television to reiterate their belief that Rebecca Zahau did not commit suicide, rejecting the findings of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Coronado Police Department and San Diego County medical examiner.

Her nude body was found on July 13, hanging from the balcony of the home of her boyfriend, pharmaceutical executive Jonah Shacknai. She died two days after Shacknai's 6-year-old son, Max, was injured in a fall at the home while under Zahau's care.

Law enforcement investigators concluded that, in a fit of despondence, Zahau killed herself after being told that the boy would not survive his injuries. He died four days later.

"Knowing my sister, there is no way that she would go in this manner," Mary Zahau told the "Dr. Phil" show.

"My problem is the manner and the fashion that she was found in. If she walked across the street and drowned herself in the ocean, if she took pills; is it possible? Anything is possible."

The episode included some new details from police reports that were released to the Zahau family -- including a text message sent shortly before Zahau died.

In that message she talks about Max's health and her desire to help Jonah Shacknai through the situation.

The Sheriff's Department released a statement Monday saying it would be glad to review information pertinent to the investigation and meet with the family's representatives "rather than hear their results on television provided as entertainment."



Rebecca Zahau's suicide likely triggered by boy's injuries

Fifteen detectives probe woman's death at Coronado mansion

Family: Woman found hanging at Coronado mansion wasn't depressed

-- Fox 5 San Diego

Photo: Rebecca Zahau and Dr. Phil.  Credit: Fox 5 San Diego