Dina Shacknai Wants Son's Death Re-Opened, Labeled Homicide

Mother Of Max Shacknai Wants Investigation Into Son's Death In Coronado Re-Opened

New questions are being raised on Monday about the death of a 6-year-old boy inside a Coronado mansion.

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Dina Shacknai and her attorneys met with Coronado police one week ago. She told the chief she wants her son's case reopened and investigated as a homicide.

More than nine months ago, Shacknai – the mother of 6-year-old Max Shacknai – hired a team of experts to conduct a private investigation into Max's death after a fall over a banister inside his father's Coronado mansion last summer.

"I think the experts' reports are definitive," she said.

On Monday, the findings of a certified forensic pathologist and an expert in injury biomechanics were released.

The results indicate that Max's injuries show he was assaulted before going over a second floor railing.

They determined that the railing was six inches above the standing center of gravity for someone of Max's height. Therefore, a fall over the railing was not possible.

Shacknai also released photos of Max in the hospital before he died to show just how horrific his injuries were.

"That's important because not very many people saw Max in the hospital room," she said.

Other findings include injuries to Max's face and forehead that experts determined were consistent with the forces of an assault.

Max's hands also showed no signs of abrasions from reportedly grasping the chandelier.

They determined that his back contacted the railing and moved up and over the railing as a result of an assault before he landed on the first floor below.

Max died from his injuries five days later in the hospital.

Marty Rudoy, the attorney for Rebecca Zahau's family, told 10News that there is no evidence to show there was an assault.

"I don't believe there is any evidence as to why he fell and the absence of such evidence doesn't necessarily mean there was an assault," Rudoy said.

Just as Shacknai wants her son's case to be reopened, Rudoy wants the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to reopen Zahau's case.

Zahau, the girlfriend of Max's father, was inside the mansion with Max at the time of his injuries along with her 13-year-old sister.

Though Zahau was not named as a suspect in Max's death, Shacknai has made it clear that she believes Zahau was involved. She said Zahau was not to be left with Max if his father was not home.

Days later, Zahau was found dead, hanging from an outside balcony of the mansion. Her death was ruled a suicide. The Zahau family is challenging that ruling.

"Had nothing happened to Max, we don't believe anything would have happened to Rebecca," said Rudoy.

Coronado police will now decide whether to reopen Max's case.

"With the new information they have, I hope that they… reopen the case and really find the truth about what happened to Max," said Shacknai. "He deserves that justice."

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