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Suspect is arrested in Downtown murder of model


Discovered bound, gagged inside refrigerator

A 41-year-old Minnesota man was taken into custody last week in connection with the September killing of a model who was severely beaten, bound, gagged and stuffed inside the refrigerator of her downtown Los Angeles apartment.

Magnus Daniel Humphrey, who is on probation for federal narcotics offenses, was taken into custody on Feb. 21 at his home in Minnesota on an unrelated federal warrant, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He subsequently waived extradition proceedings and agreed to be brought back to Los Angeles to face charges stemming from the September killing of Maleesa Mooney, 31.

Mooney, the sister of Guyanese pop singer Jourdin Pauline, was found dead in her apartment in the 200 block of South Figueroa Street around 3:55 p.m. Sept. 12.

According to court records, Humphrey was charged on Dec. 6 with murder and torture. The murder charge includes a special allegation of murder during the commission of torture. It was not immediately clear when Humphrey would be brought to Los Angeles and appear in court.

No details were immediately released on what led investigators to Humphrey.

According to an autopsy report, Mooney’s body showed evidence of blunt force trauma, including abrasions, lacerations and contusions around her head and neck, body and extremities.

According to the Medical Examiner report, Mooney was last seen alive Sept. 6 on surveillance video at her apartment complex. Police went to her apartment Sept. 12 in response to a call from her mother requesting a welfare check.

Responding officers “found Ms. Mooney’s body wedged inside the refrigerator” with blood on the floor outside of it, according to the autopsy report.

The woman’s wrists and ankles were bound, “and these bindings were tied to each other behind her back with miscellaneous electronic cords and clothing items. Additional clothing items were found around her face and neck. An apparent gag, fashioned out of an article of clothing, was stuffed in her mouth,” according to the report.

The Medical Examiner’s report found that the blunt force trauma injuries she suffered “are generally not considered acutely life threatening on their own.”

“However, based on the circumstances of how Ms. Mooney was found, these injuries suggest she was likely involved in (a) violent physical altercation prior to her death,” according to the report.

Mooney’s body was found two days after another model, 32-year-old Nichole Coats, was found dead inside a downtown apartment less than three miles away. Police eventually determined the deaths were not related, and the Medical Examiner later ruled Coats’ death an accident due to “cocaine and ethanol toxicity.”