Death of Shacknai son confirmed - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Death of Shacknai son confirmed

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CORONADO, Calif.  (CBS8) -- The Shacknai family confirmed Sunday, July 17 the death of their six-year-old son Max Shacknai.  The boy had been hospitalized since Monday after falling near the stairway in his father's home in Coronado.  Jonah Shacknai announced the death Sunday evening in the following email:

Message from the families:

With great sadness, (we) convey the tragic passing of our beloved son, Max (affectionately known as Maxie). Despite heroic efforts on the part of paramedics and hospital staff, he was unable to recover from the injuries suffered early last week. His loving, kind and vibrant spirit will forever be in our hearts and those whom he touched every day. The loss to our families, Max's many friends of all ages and teammates, and the community is immeasurable.

We appreciate your respecting the privacy of our families during this time of grieving for Max. A private memorial service is being planned.

Memorial contributions honoring Max may be made to Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation either by mail to 9045 E. Pima Center Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, or via their website, www.whisperinghoperanch.org

On behalf of... our families, please know of our appreciation for the tremendous outpouring of support provided during this very difficult time.

Jonah

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, READ THE STORY BELOW.

CORONADO (CBS 8) - A Facebook posting Friday by the daughter of millionaire Jonah Shacknai indicated her brother Max was dead, but officials with the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office said they have not been notified of the six-year-old's passing.

"RIP Maxie. We'll miss your sweet smile and kind heart more than you'll ever know. I'll love you forever," was the posting on the Facebook page of Gabby Shacknai, the teenage daughter of Jonah Shacknai.

Max spent the week at Rady Children's Hospital – reportedly in a coma – after a serious fall at the historic Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, which is owned by his 54-year-old father.

Coronado police responded to a 911 call shortly after 10 a.m. Monday and found the boy with no pulse and not breathing, Coronado Police Chief Lou Scanlon told reporters.

According to family members, Shacknai's girlfriend, 32-yaer-old Rebecca Zahau, was watching Max at the time of his fall.

On Wednesday, another 911 call from the mansion at 1043 Ocean Ave. reported the discovery of Zahau's body under suspicious circumstances.

Shacknai's brother Adam called police around 6:45 a.m. and reported that he had found Zahau's body hanging from a second-story balcony, and that he had cut the rope around her neck to get her down.

The body was naked with the ankles and wrists bound. Investigators have made no arrests and they have not determined whether Zahau's death was a homicide or possibly a suicide.

Detectives served a second search warrant on the house Friday night, and spent some time photographing the staircase balcony where the boy fell on Monday.

In response to the teenager's posting on Facebook, friends left condolence messages online, one saying "Gabby I am so sorry. You are in my family's prayers. I love you. I am here for you if you need anything."

Max's mother owns a summer house down the road from the Spreckels Mansion. On Friday night, sympathy flowers were left at both homes.

Jonah Shacknai and his second ex-wife were divorced in 2008. Friends say they were both at Max's bedside at the time of Zahau's mysterious death.

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