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Legal fight continues on 10-year anniversary of Rebecca Zahau's death

PHOTOS: Rebecca Zahau death investigation
Legal fight continues on 10-year anniversary of Rebecca Zahau's death
Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 21:22:13-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - Today marks a decade since the body of Rebecca Zahau was founding hanging at a Coronado mansion, sparking an enduring mystery.

“The emotional part of it has been a roller coaster,” said Mary Zahau-Loehner.

A decade later, a sister's fight for justice marches on.

“There is no justice for her, and I’m very upset about that and frustrated about that because we can't mourn her, and move past her murder,” said Zahau-Loehner.

Today marks 10 years since the body of Zahau was found -- naked, gagged, hands and feet bound -- hanging from the Spreckles Mansion, the home of Jonah Shackhai, Zahau’s boyfriend.

RELATED: Zahau family files legal complaint ahead of 10-year death anniversary

Several days before, her boyfriend's son was hurt in a fall that he later died from. Zahau had been caring for him.

Sheriff's detectives determined she had committed suicide but, in 2018, a civil jury found her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai — the person who found Zahau — liable in her death.

Zahau's family later reached a settlement with Adam Shacknai's insurance company, but it didn't negate the verdict. We sat down with Shacknai after the settlement.

“Did you kill Rebecca Zahau?” asked reporter Michael Chen.

“That is crazy, the answer is no. The answer is heck, no!” said Shacknai in the 2019 interview.

RELATED: New book to detail decade-old Coronado mansion mystery

After a review of the evidence, the sheriff's department confirmed its suicide conclusion, but Zahau's family pushed on to reopen the criminal case, offering a $100,000 reward for information.

On Monday, family attorney Keith Greer filed a 153-page amended complaint, asking the sheriff's department for investigative records about the case. Greer also sent a letter to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department requesting an independent review of evidence in the case.

Greer says he has new evidence, claiming a closer look shows the rope Zahau's body was hanging from was 86 inches off the ground, which contradicts Shacknai's civil testimony that he had to climb a table to cut her down.

“You can stand flat-footed to cut her down. You don’t have to get on a table … We’re confident it was staged and he didn't think it through,” said Greer.

Today, Greer sent a letter to the sheriff's department asking for another agency to handle the case, a case that's spawned a book, and continues to attract headlines and internet sleuths.

For one sister, the case remains a very personal fight.

“I have to believe there is hope. I have to believe that miracles happen, and I believe that God will bring justice,” said Zahau-Loehner.

A judge will hear arguments in the lawsuit in October.

The Sheriff's Department declined to comment, citing pending litigation, but previously, Sheriff Bill Gore has called their investigation both thorough and fair.

Adam Shacknai released the following statement:

"Unfortunately there is no vaccine to protect anyone from a desperate lawyer nor the insidious Greer variant. All we know if that this heinous strain attaches itself anywhere there is free money or publicity to feed on."