LA model’s mystery cause of death ruled an ‘accident’ despite family’s suspicions

Nichole Coats was discovered dead in her apartment by her father in September

Amelia Neath
Thursday 26 October 2023 00:33 BST
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2 models found dead in Los Angeles apartments

The mysterious death of the Los Angeles model Nichole Coats has been ruled accidental by the city’s medical examiner.

Coats, 32, who was found dead in her luxury apartment on 10 September, died from “cocaine and ethanol toxicity” according to authorities. Ethanol toxicity is caused by the consumption of a large amount of alcohol.

The alarm was raised last month after her friends told the model’s father that they could not get hold of her, so he went over and let himself in with a spare key.

“She was covered up and I went over and I said ‘Nichole?’ and I touched her arm and she was just like stone,” he said to KTLA at the time.

While May Stevens, the model’s aunt, had suspicions of “foul play,” authorities have found no evidence of that claim.

At the time, Coats’s death was heavily reported alongside the death of another LA-based model, Maleesa Mooney, 31, who was found dead in her apartment two days after Ms Coats.

Despite this, the Los Angeles Police Department said back in September that there was no evidence linking the two cases together.

This was due to the similarities between the two cases: both models, both similar ages, both found in their apartments in LA.

LAPD said there was no evidence to link Ms Coats’ death to other model Maleesa Mooney

Mooney’s cause of death was determined by the Los Angeles Medical Examiner as “homicidal violence,” but her sister, Jourdin Pauline, told People that there have been no advances in the investigation and a suspect has not been named.

Ms Pauline also told the outlet that Mooney was two months pregnant at the time of her death.

Before the medical examiner released their ruling, her family told many news outlets that they believed that her death was suspicious.

“I believe it was murder, I really do,” Ms Stevens also told KTLA. “One of her legs was up in the air in a kicking position. That’s not somebody who just laid in their bed and died.”

Her mother also told ABC7 about her suspicions.

“I’m devastated that it happened to Nichole. This is horrible... it’s like a dream, that my daughter’s going to walk through the door and she’s not, her mother Sharon Coats told People.

“She’s gone. I’m just trying to piece everything together, but I still feel that something fishy is going on.”

The family of Nichole Coats held memorial services to remember her, despite at the time not knowing her cause of death

Coats, who was working as a beauty sales rep at the time and was an aspiring model, was due to fly to Cancun, Mexico with friends before her untimely death.

The model’s family held a funeral for her on 28 September, according to a GoFundMe page raising money for the service.

The fundraiser described Coats as a “vibrant personality [and] was one that touched and affected everyone she crossed paths with. She is known as an amazing daughter, friend and soul.”

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