Shacknai Allows Zahau Family To Conduct Mansion Investigation

Jonah Shacknai Gives Permission For Forensic Testing Provided It Is Supervised By Sheriff's Dept.

The family of Rebecca Zahau was given permission by Spreckels mansion owner Jonah Shacknai to conduct forensic testing at the Coronado home, according to information obtained by 10News.

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An attorney for the Zahau family told 10News Shacknai agreed to allow the testing on the condition that it is supervised by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Additionally, Shacknai said the testing must be done before the end of the year.

Shacknai recently sold the home to an investment group, who will officially take ownership on January 1, 2012.

Sheriff's investigators ruled Zahau's July 13 death at the home a suicide, but her family disagrees with investigators' assessment.

As of Tuesday, the Zahau family was waiting to hear whether the sheriff's department will supervise the forensic testing.

On Tuesday evening, sheriff's department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell told 10News via email: "Our investigation is concluded and the family has the entire file -- to include scene photos. The house has left our control (months ago) and many, many people have walked through -- there's nothing there."

A Zahau family attorney said as of Wednesday, he was still waiting to hear from the sheriff's department regarding the possibility of supervising the testing at the mansion.

He told 10News the family is optimistic that things will work in their favor.

In response, Caldwell told 10News on Wednesday: "We are not denying the Zahau family access. We don't have that authority -- the house is still owned by Jonah Shacknai. We are simply not going to accompany anyone through the property."

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