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Rebecca Zahau's Death Ruled Suicide; Death of Jonah Shacknai's Son an Accident

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The San Diego County Sheriff's Department today released its findings on the bizarre deaths of both the girlfriend and son of Scottsdale-based Medicis CEO Jonah Shacknai.

The death of Shacknai's son Max, 6 -- who fell down a flight of stairs at the family's Coronado mansion in July -- was ruled an accident.

The strange death of Shacknai's girlfriend, 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, who was caring for Max at the time of his fatal accident, has officially been ruled a suicide following a very tight-lipped investigation by the SDCSD.

"Were these deaths the result of criminal conduct? Was Max's death a homicide? The answer is no," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said at a press conference this morning. "It was a tragic accident. Was Rebecca's death a homicide? Again the answer is no. It was a suicide ... These deaths were not the result of any criminal acts."

Despite the ruling, Zahau's apparent suicide remains controversial for a few reasons -- namely the fact that she was found bound and naked and hanging from a balcony, which doesn't exactly seem like the ideal way for someone to end their life.

However, detectives say that while it's rare for someone to bound their hands and feet during a suicide attempt like Zahau's, it's not unheard of. According to detectives, suicide victims will sometimes bound themselves to prevent them from rescuing themselves in the middle of a suicide attempt.

The SDCSD did not immediately provide a reason as to why Zahau might want to end her life, but a spokeswoman for the agency tells New Times more details will be provided later this afternoon.

Check back for updates. 

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