San Diego Sheriff's Department to 'review' Rebecca Zahau case - The CW San Diego - News 8

San Diego Sheriff's Department to 'review' Rebecca Zahau case

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — The San Diego Sheriff's Department said Monday that they will "undertake a fresh review" of the Rebecca Zahau case.

According to a statement released by the department, Sheriff Bill Gore met with the Zahau family's attorney Keith Greer, but did not find that any new evidence was presented.  

Related: Mansion Death Lawsuit: Adam Shacknai takes the stand

However, as result of the conversation, the department plans to use investigators with no prior involvement with the case to complete a "review," which they expect to take at least 90 days.  

"It was a really productive meeting," said Greer. "I couldn't have asked for it to go any better." 

A civil trial in the case ended earlier this month when a jury reached a verdict saying Rebecca's death was a murder and that Adam Shacknai is liable. 

Adam is the brother of Rebecca's boyfriend Jonah Shacknai and is believed to have been the only other person home when Rebecca died in 2011. 

Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found dead two days after Jonah's 6-year-old son, Max, fell from a second-story landing at the Spreckels mansion while in Rebecca's care. The boy died five days later.

Rebecca's body was found nude and hanging from a second-story balcony at the same Coronado mansion. 

Rebecca's mother, Pari Zahau, and older sister, Mary Zahau-Loehner, rejected the suicide finding and filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2013 against Shacknai's brother, Adam, claiming the defendant confronted and battered Zahau the day after his nephew fell.

Related: Packed courtroom for Zahau closing arguments

During the civil trial, Greer argued that Rebecca Zahau had been sexually assaulted with the handle of a knife and that the bedroom hanging scene had been wiped down. 

"The evidence speak for itself," said Greer. "I think it's likely that once they're through with this process, suicide will not be an issue anymore." 

In the civil case, jurors awarded Pari Zahau more than $5 million for loss of comfort and companionship and loss of money that the victim would have given to support her mother.

See below for the full statement sent by the sheriff's department. 

The Sheriff's Department has continually indicated its willingness to reevaluate the Rebecca Zahau case if new evidence was presented.  

After a productive conversation with the family's attorney, Keith Greer, Sheriff Bill Gore determined that, while no new evidence was presented, new analysis of existing evidence was presented in the recently concluded civil trial. In the spirit of transparency and open-mindedness, we have agreed to undertake a fresh review of the case, by investigators who have had no prior involvement with the case, to evaluate the new information.  

Without having the materials and reports from the civil attorney in front of us at this time, it is difficult to say how long this review will take; however, we expect it will take at least 90 days.  

When our investigation is complete, we will meet with the family's attorney to discuss our findings. Ultimately, the cause and manner of death, in any case, is determined by the Medical Examiner. In San Diego County, the Medical Examiner's Office is an independent entity and separate from the Sheriff's Department. 

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