Rebecca Zahau Autopsy Reveals Startling Details

New details from Rebecca Zahau's autopsy report.

ByABC News
September 5, 2011, 2:27 PM

Sept. 5, 2011— -- New details have emerged about the mysterious death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanged, bound and naked at a California millionaire's historic mansion.

On Friday investigators announced the case was closed and ruled her death a suicide, but Zahau's last cryptic message -- and information from the autopsy that had not been divulged during Friday's press conference -- have raised new doubts about the sheriff's conclusion.

The message painted in black on the door of the bedroom near where Zahau was found hanging said, "She saved him can you save her?"

In addition, the autopsy report revealed there were hemorrhages under Zahau's scalp, tape residue and blood on her legs, and the T-shirt that was wrapped around Zahau's neck had been partially stuffed in her mouth.

Zahau's family has hired Seattle lawyer Anne Bremner and are asking the police to reopen the case.

Bremner told today the message scrawled in black paint is just one of the many reasons why Zahau's death warrants further investigation.

"The single most important thing is there has never been a reported suicide of a female like this. Bound hands and feet. Gagged. A noose around her neck. Naked. Blood down her legs. A shirt wrapped three times around her neck. Tied to a bed with neat slip knots and square knots," Bremner wrote in an email message to

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department was not immediately available for comment.

The body of Zahau was found on the grounds of the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, Calif., July 13. When police arrived they found Zahau on the back lawn, her hands tied behind her back and her feet bound. Her body had been cut down by her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, who was staying at the home. He also allegedly removed the T-shirt from her mouth.

Zahau was the girlfriend of pharmaceutical mogul Jonah Shacknai. Her death came two days after Shacknai's 6-year-old son Max fell down the stairs at the historic Spreckels Mansion owned by Shacknai. The boy died of his injuries on July 16. Police ruled his death an accident.

During last week's news conference there was no mention of the tape residues, blood on Zahau's legs, or the piece of T-shirt found in her mouth.

"These deaths were not the result of any criminal acts," Gore said Friday.

Investigators showed a video explaining how Zahau could have bound her own hands and feet, and Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas said Friday the long sleeve light cotton T-shirt wrapped around her neck was loose, and "not part of the asphyxia or neck pressure."

The sheriff's department questioned Zahau's mental state in the days and months preceding her death.

"There were indications [Zahau] had been unhappy for awhile," Gore said.

Zahau's family disagrees.

Zahau's family says the note painted on the bedroom door doesn't look like Zahau's handwriting, and they don't know what the message could have possibly meant.

"Nothing adds up," Mary Zahau-Loehner, Zahau's sister, told

Zahau-Loefner, a nurse practitioner who said she spoke to her sister almost every day, told Zahau had no psychiatric history, and had never taken anti-depressants or attempted suicide.