Maleesa Mooney Case: Suspect Facing Murder Charges for Death of Model Found in Refrigerator

Five months after model Maleesa Mooney, 31, was found dead in a refrigerator, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has filed murder charges against a 41-year-old man.

By Jess Cohen Feb 22, 2024 4:09 PMTags
Watch: Maleesa Mooney's Body Found in Refrigerator

Content warning: This story discusses homicidal violence.

Authorities have announced a major update in the killing of Maleesa Mooney.

Five months after the model was found dead inside of a refrigerator at her Los Angeles apartment, officials have a suspect in the tragic case.

Magnus Daniel Humphrey, a 41-year-old Minnesota resident, was taken into custody at his home on an "unrelated federal warrant," according to a Feb. 21 press release from the Los Angeles Police Department. 

"Humphrey is on federal probation for narcotics offenses," authorities stated, adding that the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has filed murder charges against him. "Humphrey waived extradition and will be transported back to Los Angeles to face charges."

According to Los Angeles Supreme Court records viewed by E! News, Humphrey has been charged with felony murder, specifically murder with torture, and felony torture.

The arrest comes after a months-long investigation into the death of Mooney, whose body was found by officers during a Sept. 12 welfare check. 

Days later, Mooney's cousin Bailey Babb told local outlet KTLA that family members grew concerned for the 31-year-old when she suddenly stopped all communication with them.

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"When a week went by, we just knew something was off," Babb said. "Her messages weren't delivering and we knew something was up because we all have a special relationship with Maleesa."

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By October, the L.A. County Department of Medical Examiner had ruled that Mooney died from homicidal violence, while also noting "other significant conditions" contributed to her passing. 

"I can't imagine what my sister went through," Mooney's sister, Guyanese pop star Jourdin Pauline, told KTLA Oct. 4, "and it pains me to even think about it."

An autopsy report published by the local outlet Oct. 27 stated that Mooney was beaten and "wedged" inside her refrigerator.

"The blunt force traumatic injuries observed at autopsy are generally not considered life-threatening on their own," a medical examiner noted in the report. "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."

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