Journalist discusses investigating the disappearance of Adea Shabani

Reporter Neil Strauss worked with private investigator Jayden Brant on his podcast "To Live and Die in LA" to unravel what happened to the actress who was found murdered.
8:10 | 05/10/19

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Journalist discusses investigating the disappearance of Adea Shabani
A young and beautiful woman with dreams of making it in Hollywood. She was last seen near her apartment a week ago. Friends and family have not heard from her since February 23rd. Reporter: It's a Hollywood story with a grim ending. A beautiful and hopeful starlet. I would like to know. Reporter: Seemingly vanishing without a trace. 25-year-old adaiah, last seen on February 23rd, 2018. This was the corner coffee shop, and she went to the academy nearby. This is the ground zero for that Hollywood ambition. Reporter: The story of her disappearance now at the center of a blockbuster podcast to live and die in L.A. Hosted by Neil Strauss. The story unfolds in real time as he works with private investigator Jaden brant to piece together what he says happened to her. This is where she lived. And think about it. You come here from Macedonia. You have this dream that you're going to be a star one day. The last place she was seen. And seen with her boyfriend Chris. Reporter: And this all began back in February 2018 when the aspiring actress from Macedonia first vanished. Her friend sounded the alarm to the LAPD. Concerned she wasn't merely on a road trip with her boyfriend Chris at the time. Feeling frustrated, friends and family hired brant, a private investigator with experience with law enforcement. We're very active in the case, been working it since late yesterday and following all the leads as they arrive. Reporter: Brant brought Strauss in, hoping to continue giving the disappearance media attention. She was in Hollywood. She was last seen on Friday. Which, this Friday? Or the Friday like the week before? No, this Friday. Okay. Yeah. Wow. Reporter: And since that call, they have been working as a team for more than a year on the case, filling in critical gaps in the mystery. Appeared to be the case pretty early on that there was foul play involved in this case and it was likely a homicide. Reporter: They say that boyfriend became a suspect early in the investigation, a fellow actor seen here in this reel. Reporter: They say he was engaged at the time of his relationship. A month after her disappearance, her body was found in northern California. She died of blunt force trauma, and police reportedly went looking to speak to spots. If he did do it, what was the motive. Eyewitness news says he was her boyfriend. Reporter: It may never be known. He shot and killed himself after a chase with highway patrol. This situation is highly unique in that there was a homicide occurred and that our primary suspect at that time committed suicide. You know, it changes our ability to investigate, because we don't have the ability to actually speak with our suspect. Now there's two families devastated by this. Reporter: And now spots' family is trying to help Strauss dig for the truth. Shared his information and said we just want to know what happened. We know our Chris is a good kid. He's never hurt anyone in his life. We know this can't be him, but we also want to know the truth and trust that you're objective about it. Reporter: Which includes handing over his digital footprint. Google is not just tracking you, but it's very easy to find it yourself or anyone who has access can find your exact movements down to the minute. It's insane. It just so happens that Chris spots never turned his phone off. So we were able to see the moment he picked up adaiah, the day she disappeared. Reporter: Google data provided a map of his movement with incredibly precise details, something cell phone data failed to provide. Anybody can pull this up who has a Gmail account or any e-mail account? Yeah, I'm almost loathe to say it, because if somebody goes missing they'll turn this off. We wouldn't know what happened if Chris had this off. Reporter: The data, Strauss says, began to gave him a tick-tock of the last day she was seen alive. He arrives at her home at 12:48. You can figure out he came in at this time and something happened between them, maybe he turned it off himself. But we know that's connected to him arriving there. Reporter: They say the data also shows spots' phone in the area where her body would be as the team leads its own parallel investigation, Strauss is outspoken about the lack of law enforcement resources for missing persons cases. If you go to the LAPD website, it says what to do if someone goes missing, that you love, or a loved one. And the thing to do, it says we get thousands of these case as year, and most likely they'll come back. If they don't come back, contact us. We'll take a report. However, we can't really put our full investigatory power behind it, because there's no proof it's a homicide. They're just missing. If you want to find that person, hire an investigator. They're basically telling people we don't have the capacity to deal with T and you can't just only rely on the police. Reporter: At the time of spots' death, the LAPD said he was responsible for her murder. We also believe that Mr. Spots, Christopher spots was somehow involved in her death, and we believe this to be a homicide. Reporter: The LAPD now considers the case to be closed and is confident it found the killer. Nobody else was charged as being involved and they now consider the case closed. But with what we see with spots' Google location data, Strauss and his team aren't satisfied with that conclusion and have been retracing the days leading up to his road trip, convinced he may have had help in her death. They brought us to a hardware store and an apartment building in north Hollywood which they believe to be two of spots' last stops before picking her up. She told her friend that she was going to the funeral of Chris spots' uncle. And really, where suspicion started to get raised is when we called Chris spots' family and they said he doesn't have an uncle that passed away. If we can find the person he stopped to visit we can find out what he was doing there. We're checking the current tenants to find if it's someone who is co-op to Chris's phone bill. Reporter: This is the latest hit in the booming industry of true crime multi-media. Following the likes of serial. It's serial. One story told week by week. Reporter: Netflix's making of a murder and "The jinx." And about 1 million are downloading this every week. What is the secret sauce? I think it's curiosity and obsession. It's all unfolding in real time. You know something before the police do, before the families do. There's a part of it that's like a documentary. Reporter: A tragic truth, one that isn't deterring Strauss and brant who still hope to uncover the truth behind a heartbreaking loss. And you can listen to all the episodes of "To live and die in L.A." For free on apple podcast. Tune in on may 17th for the finale.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"8:10","description":"Reporter Neil Strauss worked with private investigator Jayden Brant on his podcast \"To Live and Die in LA\" to unravel what happened to the actress who was found murdered.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"62954936","title":"Journalist discusses investigating the disappearance of Adea Shabani","url":"/Nightline/video/journalist-discusses-investigating-disappearance-adea-shabani-62954936"}