A private memorial service was being planned Monday for a 6-year-old boy who died after falling down the stairs at his father’s 103-year-old Coronado mansion, built by San Diego power broker and philanthropist John D. Spreckels.
Authorities were also continuing their investigating into the bizarre death of mansion owner Jonah Shacknai’s girlfriend in the same historic Ocean Boulevard manor just two days after his son was gravely injured.
Shacknai, founder of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., has not spoken publicly about his girlfriend’s death but issued a statement regarding his son. “With great sadness, Dina and I convey the tragic passing of our beloved son, Max,” Shacknai said on behalf of himself and his ex-wife, the boy’s mother. “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.”
Max, also known as Maxie, fell down stairs at the Spreckels mansion a week ago today.
Last Wednesday, the nude body of Shacknai’s 32-year-old girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found hanging from a mansion balcony with a rope around her neck, her hands and feet bound.
Shacknai’s brother, Adam, told investigators that he cut her down, authorities said. Sheriff’s Capt. Tim Curran said Adam and Jonah Shacknai were only witnesses, not “persons of interest,” and that Zahau’s death did not appear related to Max’s death.
Coroner’s investigators refused to talk about how Shacknai’s girlfriend died, or even say whether it was thought to be a suicide, a homicide or an accident.
Shacknai, 54, makes anti-aging products and has owned the $7 million Spreckels mansion since 2007. His ex-wife, Max’s mother, reportedly lives a short distance from the mansion.
The Shacknai family asked that memorial contributions honoring the boy be made to Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation either by mail to 9045 E. Pima Center Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, or via its website at whisperinghoperanch.org.