Zahau Family Makes Final Push For Mansion Probe

Rebecca Zahau's Family Wants Investigation Before Spreckels Mansion Changes Ownership

Attorneys representing the family of Rebecca Zahau are running out of days in their effort to re-enter the Coronado mansion where she was found dead this past summer.

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On January 1, 2012, the Spreckels mansion will no longer be owned by Zahau's boyfriend, pharmaceuticals tycoon Jonah Shacknai. Shacknai recently sold the home to a Utah-based investment group after his son, Max, was critically injured in the home and Zahau was found dead inside.

Without access to the home, Zahau's family fears they may never have the chance to prove Rebecca did not commit suicide, as ruled by San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigators.

"The evidence we've looked at and we've developed indicate clearly that one or more persons were involved in Rebecca's death," said Marty Rudoy, a Zahau family attorney. "The family has ultimate confidence in Rebecca's character and they are certain she did not commit suicide."

Rudoy told 10News the family continues in their belief that Rebecca was murdered. Zahau's nude body was found bound and hanging from a balcony on July 13, investigators said. Sheriff's investigators stated Zahau tied herself with ropes and went over the balcony.

"We'd like to verify the [sheriff's investigators'] measurements about the height of the railing, width of the balcony, the length of the balcony, the height of the balcony, and try to ascertain the length of the rope that was used," said Rudoy.

Many questions surrounding her death remain, despite investigators' suicide conclusion.

Rudoy and his team want to conduct an investigation inside the mansion before the new owners go forward with any remodeling. Rudoy said he believes key evidence remains inside the home.

"You know, it's very surprising to us and disappointing at the same time," said Rudoy. "Nobody is curious about what happened to Rebecca, and that in itself is curious."

Last week, Shacknai's attorney said the family would not be allowed inside the home unless sheriff's investigators accompanied them.

However, the sheriff's department said they would not comply without new evidence.

Rudoy told 10News he believes the sheriff's department has been cooperative in other areas. He said he will meet with sheriff's investigators in two weeks and hopes he can convince them to enter the home together before it's too late.

Rudoy also said he will contact the mansion's new owners to see if they are willing to let them inside.

"We're hoping that the new buyers are sensitive to our needs and will schedule any renovations around out legitimate requests for inspection," said Rudoy.

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