A body believed to be that of a model and aspiring actress who disappeared from Hollywood last month was pulled from a shallow grave in Northern California Tuesday, and police said they believe a man who committed suicide following a recent police chase was involved in her death.
Los Angeles police Capt. William P. Hayes said the body found in the Spenceville Wildlife Area about 40 miles north of Sacramento won’t be positively identified until an autopsy is conducted Wednesday, but investigators believe it is that of 25-year-old Adea Shabani.
Shabani was last seen the afternoon of Feb. 23 leaving her home near the 1700 block of Wilcox Avenue, between Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue, Hayes said. At the time, she was with a fellow aspiring actor named Christopher Spotz, who fatally himself last week following a police chase in Riverside County.
Hayes said the pair were leaving for a trip to Northern California. Shabani was reported missing two days later, and Spotz eventually told police the pair had gotten into a fight during the trip, and he claimed he dropped her off in the Santa Clarita area and never saw her again.
Shabani and Spotz, 33, of Studio City, were involved in a romantic relationship, Hayes said.
Shabani came from Macedonia and had been in Los Angeles less than two years, according to her friends. Her family hired a private investigator to help find her and offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.
Hayes said police began searching for Spotz in hopes of examining his Toyota Tacoma pickup for possible clues. Last Thursday night, Spotz was spotted in the Tacoma in San Bernardino County and he fled when police tried to stop him. The chase led from Hesperia to the Corona area, where Spotz fatally shot himself, Hayes said.
Hayes said Tuesday investigators believe Shabani’s death was a homicide and that Spotz was involved. He said a cause of death was pending the results of Wednesday’s autopsy.
Spotz, who allegedly attended the same acting school as Shabani, appeared in various short films over the past three years and had a minor role in a forthcoming web series called “The Shoaks,” according to IMDB.com.