There may be possible connections between two recent deaths of young Black women, Nichole Coats and Maleesa Mooney, in downtown Los Angeles (LA), according to some residents in the area. Local police currently disagree, but are investigating.
As the cases continue, many family members, community advocates, and social media accounts call for increased awareness of the incidents and greater accountability overall. While the investigations are ongoing and currently deemed unrelated, the message for all Black women is clear: Check on each other and be safe.
We must do all we can to protect, support, and watch out for each other.
What do we know?
Nikki Coats went missing after going on a date.
Nichole “Nikki” Coats was found dead in her LA apartment on September 10. According to news sources, she stopped communicating with friends and family after going on a date on September 8. Worried about the lack of response, sources say members of Nikki’s family checked on her.
They discovered the model in her bedroom dead.
Pop star Jourdin Pauline’s sister’s death deemed a homicide.
Local LA realtor, 31-year-old model, and sister to pop star Jourdin Pauline, Maleesa Mooney, was found dead two days after Coats. According to local news, police found Mooney dead in her LA dwelling just one mile away. Family hadn’t heard from Mooney after a recent trip to Miami.
Pauline wrote a gut-wrenching message on social media, remembering her sibling. She added the hashtag #JUSTICEFORMALEESA to help spread the word and find Maleesa’s murderer.
“…The reason I’m me is because of you!!! My first best friend the one who taught me everything I know!!!!! How is this even possible you won’t be here we was supposed to grow old together and have babies and cook off wars (you’re the best chef ever) this feels so surreal.”
LA Police Department spokesperson Tony Im told NBC News the department is investigating Mooney’s death as a homicide but not Coats.’ Police are waiting for the medical examiner’s report to determine whether to investigate her death similarly.
Police reportedly do not think the cases are linked despite proximity and similarities.
Protect Black women. Period.
Maleesa and Nikki’s deaths are painful reminders of ongoing threats to the safety and security of Black women. According to the Wall Street Journal, murders of Black women and girls rose more dramatically than other groups during the pandemic. And the number of unsolved homicides of Black women and girls rose by nearly 90% in 2020 and 2021 when compared to 2018 and 2019.
These statistics are alarming in the age of social media, dating apps, and the like. Black women like Nichole Coats, Maleesa Mooney, and countless others, must be protected. Period.
As we await updates, HelloBeautiful sends condolences to both families during this difficult time.
Everything We Know About Two Black Models Found Dead Within A Week In Los Angeles. was originally published on hellobeautiful.com