SAN DIEGO — The family of Rebecca Zahau announced Wednesday they are offering a reward for information on her death. Rebecca’s sister Mary Zahau-Loehner, along with the family’s attorney Keith Greer, announced that $100,000 is being offered for any information "leading to the arrest and conviction of Adam Shacknai for the murder of Rebecca Zahau,” at a morning press conference.
Adam is the brother of Jonah Shacknai who was Rebecca’s boyfriend at the time of her death in July of 2011. Adam Shacknai was found responsible for her death in a civil trial last year but has maintained his innocence.
Greer opened the press conference by going over details surrounding the 32-year-old's death saying she was found with various abrasions all over her body. He also said she was found naked with a gag in her mouth, her feet and wrists bound and a rope around her neck.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department ruled Zahau’s 2011 death at her boyfriend’s Coronado mansion a suicide by hanging and declined to file criminal charges.
“This was particularly shocking to the family who knew Rebecca very, very well and know she would not be the kind of person who would commit suicide,” Greer said.
Zahau’s family has maintained their belief that she was murdered and filed the lawsuit against Shacknai in 2013. They received a $600,000 settlement as the result of the civil trial.
The sheriff’s department again reviewed the case following the 2018 civil trial but said it stood by the decision that her death was a suicide.
“It’s corruption,” said Greer. “Something is corrupt in the sheriff’s system.”
At the press conference, Greer also talked about a new expert review of the polygraph examination of Adam Shacknai.
Greer said he and the family want to get Rebecca’s story out to the masses with the hope that anyone who may have heard or seen anything the night she died will come forward.
Rebecca’s sister also gave a brief statement at the press conference and took a few questions from reporters.
“I want the sheriff’s department and law enforcement to treat [Rebecca] like a victim and get justice for her,” Mary said.
AM 760 KFMB's Mark Larson interviewed Greer and Mary Zahau-Loehner following the press conference:
Following the sheriff’s department’s review of the case in December 2018, the Zahau family decided to file a grievance with the department. Greer noted at the press conference that it was filed Memorial Day weekend and that they have not received any response from the department.
Mary claimed that San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been in contact with the Shacknais but has yet to contact the Zahau family following the grievance filing over two months ago.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department issued the following statement following Wednesday's press conference:
The Sheriff's Homicide Unit conducted an objective and thorough investigation into Miss Zahau's death. Our investigation was without assumption as to the cause of her death. The facts of that investigation led to the conclusion that Miss Zahau took her own life. You can find a wealth of information about the investigation including photos, videos news conferences, and interviews of Sheriff Gore at www.SDSheriff.net/coronado.
Greer said depending on the outcome of filing the grievance the family would be pursuing other civil action.
He said the family wanted to “make a statement that was significant, that would catch people’s interest” by offering the $100,000 reward for information.
The day after the reward was announced, AM 760 KFMB's Mark Larson interviewed Adam Shacknai who said "The [prosecution] knows I had nothing to do with the death of Rebecca Zahau."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that Mary Zahau-Loehner is Rebecca's mother; she is in fact Rebecca's sister. We regret the error.