Lead investigator in Rebecca Zahau case testifies in wrongful death lawsuit

Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 15, 2018

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Rebecca Zahau focused Thursday on the thoroughness of the investigation, with the lead Sheriff's detective on the case taking the stand.


Zahau's death was ruled a suicide by four different investigative agencies but the Zahau family believes Rebecca was murdered by her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai.


The questioning by David Elsberg, attorney for Adam Shacknai, was aimed at showing investigators left no stone unturned.


Elsberg's initial focus was on dispelling the scream that a neighbor reported may have come from the Coronado mansion around the time of Rebecca's death.


As Adam Shacknai's attorney pointed at areas of an overhead projection screen of the Coronado mansion, Detective Tsuida said the reported scream actually came from an area northwest of the property, toward the beach, and not from the balcony area where Rebecca Zahau was found dead.


The attorney also showed a series of photos of footprints on the balcony, including bare prints that would support Rebecca standing on the balcony and near the balcony's edge.


The questioning by Elsberg went on to the collection of potential DNA evidence and the intricate detail work involved.  Detective Tsuida testified that none of Adam Shacknai's DNA was found on the rope or knife, or several other items that might suggest he had anything to do with her death.