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Man arrested in brutal slaying of L.A. model whose body was found in refrigerator

A pink letter M propped up against a barrier next to flowers, notes and over 20 candles arranged on pavement.
A 41-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday in connection with Maleesa Mooney’s slaying in September. Mourners left tributes outside after her beaten and bound body was found in her downtown L.A. apartment’s refrigerator.
(John Antczak / Associated Press)
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A Minnesota man has been arrested as a suspect in the September killing of Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old model and real estate agent in Los Angeles who was pregnant at the time of her death, police announced Wednesday.

Mooney was found dead Sept. 12 in her downtown apartment after her family requested a welfare check, police said. According to an autopsy report, her body was found in her refrigerator at the bloody crime scene. Her arms and legs had been bound, and Mooney had blunt-force trauma injuries to her head, neck, torso, arms, wrists and ankles, according to the autopsy report from the L.A. County Medical Examiner Department.

LAPD detectives identified 41-year-old Magnus Daniel Humphrey of Hopkins, Minn., as her alleged killer. Officials did not share a possible motive on Wednesday or discuss evidence that reportedly linked Humphrey to Mooney’s brutal death.

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A pregnant model was found dead inside her refrigerator, with her arms and legs bound, at her downtown L.A. apartment last month, according to an autopsy report.

Oct. 30, 2023

Magnus Daniel Humphreys mugshot.
LAPD detectives identified 41-year-old Magnus Daniel Humphrey, of Hopkins, Minn., as Maleesa Mooney’s alleged killer. Officials did not share a possible motive on Wednesday or discuss evidence that reportedly linked Humphrey to Mooney’s brutal death.
(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Humphrey, who had been on federal probation, was arrested at his home in Minnesota on an unrelated federal warrant, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. It wasn’t immediately clear what day he was arrested. He is to be transported to L.A. soon to face charges of murder and torture, according to officials and court records.

Humphrey is accused in court records of killing Mooney on Sept. 7, five days before she was found dead.

On Sept. 6, Mooney had spoken with her cousin over FaceTime, her family said, and had gone out with friends in Santa Monica. Her family never heard from her again.

Jourdin Pauline, Mooney’s sister, said Mooney’s phone and laptop had been stolen from her apartment along with a designer purse. In October, she told The Times that whoever killed her sister most likely knew the phone’s passcode, as someone was sending the family “vague” texts. Pauline didn’t elaborate on the text messages.

An L.A. County prosecutor told jurors there is overwhelming evidence that Grossman committed murder by striking two boys as she raced her SUV through a crosswalk.

Feb. 22, 2024

Mooney, who was two months pregnant at the time of her death, worked for Nest Seekers, a Beverly Hills real estate agency, for nearly two years, Pauline said. Mooney also modeled part time.

Times staff writer Summer Lin contributed to this report.

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