Minnesota felon arrested for murder of LA model who was found stuffed in refrigerator

Minnesota felon arrested for murder of LA model who was found stuffed in refrigerator

LOS ANGELES — A Minnesota felon was arrested Wednesday in the murder of a Los Angeles-based model who was stuffed inside her refrigerator, gagged and with her wrists and ankles bound together.

Maleesa Mooney, 31, sister of Guyanese pop star Jourdin Pauline, was found dead on Sept. 12, 2023, when the LAPD conducted a welfare check at her luxury apartment in downtown Los Angeles.

Magnus Daniel Humphrey was picked up by police at his Hopkins, Minn., home on an unrelated warrant and was identified as the “suspect responsible” for Mooney’s brutal slaying.

“The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against Humphrey,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Humphrey waived extradition and will be transported back to Los Angeles to face charges.”

Minnesota felon arrested for murder of LA model who was found stuffed in refrigerator

An arrest was made in the death of Los Angeles-based model Maleesa Mooney, who was found dead in her apartment inside a refrigerator on September 12, 2023.Jourdin Pauline/Instagram

The murder charge includes a special allegation of murder during the commission of torture, according to FOX 11 LA, citing court records.

Investigators have not revealed the relationship between Humphrey, 41, and Mooney.

He had been on probation for federal narcotics offenses after being released from prison on Feb. 7, according to Justice Department records.

Humphrey has been convicted of several felonies in Minnesota and Illinois, including gun charges, assaults, sexual assaults, and false imprisonment, according to court records viewed by The Post.

Mooney worked as a real estate agent at Beverly Hills-based agency Nest Seeker and had only moved into her Skye at Bunker Hill unit a month before her death.

Mooney’s sister told local TV station KTLA at the time that her sister was two months pregnant when she died and had always wanted to be a mom.

“I can’t imagine what my sister went through and it pains me to even think about it,” Pauline told the outlet.

The model was last seen alive after surveillance cameras at her apartment complex captured her on Sept. 6, according to the outlet.

The LAPD conducted a welfare check on Mooney around 4 p.m. Sept. 12, after her parents’ text messages were going unanswered, raising suspicions. 

Police found Mooney’s body in the refrigerator and blood on the floor.

A coroner’s report found Mooney had suffered blunt force injuries to her face/head, back and upper left arm.

“The blunt force traumatic injuries observed at autopsy are generally not considered acutely life-threatening on their own,’ according to the autopsy report.

But the report considered the injuries and suggested Mooney had been in some form of dispute.

“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. Given this, the role that drugs and/or alcohol may have played in Ms. Mooney’s death, if any, is uncertain,” the report stated.

A toxicology report showed the model had benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite, in her system along with a mix of cocaethylene and ethanol.

Her death came just two days after another model, Nichole “Nikki” Coats, was found dead inside her LA apartment on Grand Avenue.

The models’ deaths sparked fears of a serial killer as both were killed inside their downtown Los Angeles residences. 

Coats’ death was ruled accidental with the cause listed as “cocaine and ethanol toxicity.”


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