Adea Shabani, Chris Spotz, and the unanswered questions left behind by murder investigation (2023)

Adea Shabani, Chris Spotz, and the unanswered questions left behind by murder investigation (1)

Death by Fame: For the Love of Drama features the murder of Adea Shabani, whose boyfriend, Chris Spotz, was a person of interest in the case.

According to Shabani’s Facebook, after she graduated from high school in Skopje, Macedonia, she went to college in Paris. She was an aspiring actress so she later started school at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Hollywood, California, which is where she met Spotz.

He attended the school after he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a psychology degree.

Spotz and Shabani then began dating on and off.

Shabani was supposed to graduate in September 2018, but on Feb. 23 of that same year, she disappeared just days before her 26th birthday.

She was last seen around 1:15 p.m. at her apartment in the 1700 block of Wilcox Avenue, and she left her front door unlocked. She was also seen carrying two suitcases as she got into a vehicle with Spotz.

When relatives and friends were unable to get in contact with her for two days, they reported her missing.

Relatives tried desperately to find Shabani.

They hired a private investigator and offered a $25,000 reward for information that would lead to her whereabouts.

Investigators were suspicious of Spotz when he told an attorney that he and Shabani got into a verbal altercation as they were traveling to Northern California.

Spotz, who was 33 years old at the time, said he pulled over on the highway near Santa Clara when Shabani asked to get out of the car. And when she got out, he drove off.

(Video) ‘To Live & Die In LA’ Podcast Returns With New Missing Persons Case For

He said he hadn’t seen or heard from her since, but officials said they found no evidence to corroborate his story.

Chris Spotz was engaged to Mary Elmalak while dating Adea Shabani

Spotz also sent a text message to one of his friends. He stated that before he left Shabani on the side of the highway, she told him that he would never see her again.

In a news conference, Williams Hayes, captain of the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery-Homicide division, said, “Something happened, and I believe it to be somewhat untoward.”

“But until I get more specifics out of the coroner’s exam… I can’t be definitive as to the cause and manner of death.”

On March 1, 2018, detectives went to Northern California, which is where Spotz’s father lived, to gather more information about the case. And it was then that the detectives learned that Spotz was engaged to another woman named Mary Elmalak.

We just talked to a friend of both Adea Shabani and Chris Spotz; Police believe Spotz was involved in Shabani’s disappearance and death; A body, police believe is that of Shabani, was found in a grave in Northern CA; I’ll have more on #TODAYinLA on @NBCLA at 6:45am pt

— Mekahlo Medina (@MekahloNBCLA) March 28, 2018

They also uncovered that Spotz and Mary traveled in a Toyota Tacoma to Fort Morgan, Colorado, to visit Spotz’s mother.

It is unclear if Mary, who reportedly worked as a nurse in Los Angeles, knew anything about Spotz’s relationship with Shabani or her disappearance.

But Shabani allegedly knew that Spotz was engaged to Mary, as she told her friends that he was planning to leave her. It wasn’t long after that that Spotz proposed to her.

It is believed that Shabani was planning their wedding before they broke up, but shortly after that, they reportedly got back together. Then they traveled to Northern California.

Detectives attempted to question Chris Spotz and search his truck

Detectives traveled to Colorado in an effort to ask Spotz follow-up questions about the events that led up to Shabani’s disappearance.

They had also obtained a warrant to search his truck, considering that’s where Shabani was last seen.

Once there, detectives were unsuccessful in locating Spotz and his truck, so they returned to California.

On March 22, 2018, detectives asked the California Highway Patrol to be on the lookout for the Toyota Tachoma, as they had reason to believe that it was involved in a homicide.

Chris Spotz led police on a car chase before suicide

At around 8:45 p.m. that same day, an officer spotted the truck on Interstate 15 in Hesperia.

Spotz was behind the wheel.

When the officer tried to pull Spotz, who was 33 years old at the time, over, he continued driving. He led police on a high-speed chase throughout southern California.

The California Highway Patrol caught up to the vehicle on Limonite Avenue, where they deployed two spike strips.

They were unsuccessful.

Spotz continued driving until he reached Rio Vista Street, just south of the 91 Freeway. It was there that he fatally shot himself in the head as officers were about to make a traffic stop.

When relatives learned that Spotz had taken his own life, they stated that it was not only shocking but devastating. They said Spotz was the kind of person who would uplift anyone around him.

Body of Adea Shabani was found in a shallow grave

Two days later, investigators received information that led them to the Spenceville Wildlife Area in Nevada County.

The Los Angeles Police Department then called anthropologists from Cal State Chico to the scene “to determine if the site is a grave site and, if so, whether any remains found are related to the LAPD’s missing person case,” the sheriff said.

They also sent a dive team to search the lake for Shabani, but they were unsuccessful.

On March 27, 2018, Shabani was found dead while police officials were searching the banks of a creek. Her body had been buried in a shallow grave near Beale Air Force Base.

They believe she had been dead for weeks.

Shabani was identified by her tattoos the following morning during an autopsy at the Placer County morgue.

The medical examiner ruled Shabani’s death a homicide after learning she died from blunt force trauma to her head.

During a press conference in April, Las Angeles police officials announced that they considered Spotz a suspect in Shabani’s murder.

They added that they would continue their investigation to determine whether or not someone else was involved.

Chris Spotz uploaded suspicious YouTube video

According to IMDb, between 2014 and 2018, Spotz appeared in four short films, including Pickman’s Model, Statues, and In Solitude With Me.

From time to time, he would upload videos from his YouTube account, called theCspotz, and showcase clips of his work.

On Jan. 11, 2018, he uploaded a monologue that many believed was a prediction of Shabani’s death.

In the video, he could be heard saying, “If I picked up the gun and made the sacrifice, my life would be given back to me. Absolution. My love would be given back.”

“And she would never know what I did to get it back.”

To Live and Die in LA podcast featured Adea Shabani’s case

In 2019, Neil Strauss featured Shabani’s disappearance and murder in his podcast “To Live and Die in LA,” which was listed as the top 10 podcasts of the year by The Associated Press.

Strauss, an author and journalist, worked alongside Jayden Brant, a private investigator who was hired by the victim’s family, to find out what may have led to Shabani’s death.

Strauss said in a statement that “This podcast is for the victims of this story and those who love them. I hope to bring them the answers and the closure they deserve after so much pain and uncertainty.”

“I hope this series can shed light on them, inform families in similar situations, and lead to a change in procedure, especially in the crucial first week.”

Death by Fame: For the Love of Drama premieres Monday, February 13 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.


Who was Chris Spotz engaged to? ›

Authorities believed Spotz may have been involved in the killing of his 25-year-old girlfriend, who disappeared on February 23, 2018. They also alleged that he was cheating on the actress, given that he was engaged to another woman named Mary Elmalak at the time.

What happened to adea? ›

The Disappearance And Murder Of Aspiring Hollywood Actress Adea Shabani. Shabani went missing in February 2018. When her body was found in May 2018, an autopsy determined she suffered blunt force trauma to her head.

Who is Christopher Allen Spotz father? ›

Spotz was born in Colorado on June 29, 1984, according to his IMDb page. His parents divorced when he was very young, Newsweek revealed. His mother, Jade, still lives in Fort Morgan, Colorado with his stepfather Jack. Spotz's father, Chris Morez, lives in Sacramento, he revealed to the To Live and Die in L.A. host.

Where does Chris Marez live? ›

Chris' biological father, Chris Marez, lives in the countryside outside Sacramento, the state capital. Marez told To Live and Die in L.A that his breakup with Jade was acrimonious, with arguments about custody rights and the decision to change their son's last name to that of his stepfather.

Was Adea Shabani ever found? ›

A month after her disappearance, Shabani's body was found in Northern California. She died of blunt force trauma, and police looked to find answers from Spotz. But if Spotz was indeed Adea's killer, his motive may never be known because Spotz shot and killed himself after a chase with California highway patrol.

Where was Adeas body found? ›

Adea Shabani, 25, was found over 400 miles (645km) away from her apartment buried in a shallow grave in a remote wildlife area of northern California. Nevada County Sheriff's officials said she was identified by her tattoos.

Was anyone charged with Adea Shabani? ›

Her body was found in a shallow grave in Northern California in May 2018, as per the BBC. An autopsy determined she suffered blunt force trauma to her head. The young actress' death was investigated as a homicide, however, no one was prosecuted for Shabani's murder.

Who was the aspiring actress murdered in her home? ›

The death of award-winning dancer and aspiring actress Alexandra Ducsay made headlines in 2006 after her barely recognizable body was found in her home in Milford, Connecticut. The crime scene discovered by her mother demonstrated signs of a struggle, blood-splattered walls, and a bloody carpet.

Who is Christopher DeNoyer mother? ›

Son of Mike DeNoyer and Dale DeNoyer Villarta.

Who are Christopher Allen journalist parents? ›

Shortly after Chris' death, his parents Joyce Krajian and John Allen were devastated to hear him described as a 'white rebel' by the Sudanese Government.

Who was found alive after 40 years? ›

Woman known as 'Baby Holly' found alive 40 years after her parents were killed in Texas. Holly was just a baby when her parents were discovered in a wooded area in 1981. She vanished, but now decades later, she was found alive and well on her late father's birthday.

Who killed adaya? ›

After an investigation that spanned much of California and included a search in Colorado, Los Angeles detectives now believe Christopher Allen Spotz, 33, killed 25-year-old Adea Shabani before burying her in a shallow grave, Capt.

Who was the missing TV actress found dead in Los Angeles? ›

UPDATED on Friday afternoon: Shortly after sending out a plea for the public's help finding missing TV actress Lindsey Pearlman, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that she has been found dead.

Where was Yanira's body found? ›

MOSES LAKE — The body of Yanira Cedillos has been recovered in a remote area in Walla Walla County, more than two months after her murder and disappearance in Moses Lake on March 4.

Where was Elisa's body found? ›

The body was found during a search in South Memphis near where police say Abston was seen cleaning out his vehicle. Tuesday morning, Abston faced a judge for the first time since he was arrested. His bond was set at $500,000.

Where were the Idaho body found? ›

13. There, members of the Moscow Police Department found four University of Idaho students dead on the second and third floors of the home. Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle were roommates who lived in the home while the fourth victim, Ethan Chapin, did not live there but was dating Kernodle.

Is Rebecca Schaeffer still alive? ›

What happened to Mandy Matula? ›

Mandy disappeared from her family's home in Eden Prairie in May 2013. She was last seen getting into the car of her ex-boyfriend. Investigators believe he killed Mandy and buried her body in a shallow grave near St. Cloud.

Why was my sister Sam Cancelled? ›

CBS canceled the series in May 1988 due to low ratings. Schaeffer was killed over a year later, in July 1989, by an obsessed fan.

What happened to Chris Denoyer? ›

In 1984, Villarta, now 66, shot and killed his stepson, Christopher Denoyer. He then buried his stepson's body in a crawl space beneath their Salinas home on Navajo Drive. It took investigators more than a decade to recover Denoyer's decayed body. Villarta was convicted of second-degree murder in 2000.

Who is Christopher Denoyer's step father? ›

She told police that their stepfather, Jackson Villarta, had been extremely strict and Chris was not always willing to follow his rules because Jackson was not his father.

Who is Jackson Villarta? ›

In 1984, Jackson Villarta shot and killed his stepson and buried the boy's body in a crawl space beneath their Salinas home.

What does Christopher Allen do for a living? ›

HBCU Spotlight: Christopher Allen, Filmmaker Services Manager, The Walt Disney Company.

What does Christopher Allen do? ›

About. Christopher is an entrepreneur and technologist who specializes in internet & blockchain security, digital identity, collaboration, and trust.

Who is Christopher Allen married to? ›

WEDDINGS;Eliza Griswold, Christopher Allen - The New York Times.

Who is the missing actress from Macedonia? ›

Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress from Macedonia, living in Los Angeles while studying at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theater, went missing in late February 2018.

Who is Adea Shabani Albanian Macedonian actress? ›

Adea Shabani(1992-2018)

Adea Shabani was born on 16 March 1992 in Macedonia, Yugoslavia (now Republic of North Macedonia). She was an actress, known for Stuck in the 80's (2017) and All or Nothing (2017). She died in February 2018 in Nevada County, California, USA.

Who were the 4 men who went missing? ›

Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, were reported missing last week before human remains were found in a shallow part of the Deep Fork River, Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said. The remains were found outside Okmulgee, which is about 40 miles south of Tulsa.

Who was the missing girl found alive after 40 years? ›

'Baby Holly' found alive over 40 years after parents turned up dead in Houston : NPR. 'Baby Holly' found alive over 40 years after parents turned up dead in Houston Two bodies were discovered in the woods in Houston in 1981. They were later identified as a couple. But their baby, who is now 42, was not found with them.

What actress was missing found dead? ›

UPDATED on Friday afternoon: Shortly after sending out a plea for the public's help finding missing TV actress Lindsey Pearlman, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that she has been found dead.

When did Adea Shabani disappear? ›

Law enforcement authorities discovered a body Monday near a lake in Nevada County, Calif., that they believe to be Shabani's remains. She disappeared on Feb. 23 after she was last seen with Spotz, who was described as her boyfriend, in a Hollywood apartment elevator.

Where is Macedonia at? ›

Location: North Macedonia is situated in Southeastern Europe, bordering Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, Serbia and Kosovo to the north, and Albania to the west.

Who is the Macedonian Turkish singer? ›

Mesut Kurtis (Turkish: Mesut Kurtiş; Arabic: مسعود كُرتش) is a Turkish–Macedonian singer who is represented by and signed to Awakening Records. He has released four albums namely "Salawat", "Beloved", "Tabassam", and "Balaghal Ula" and one mini album namely "Azeem Al-Shan".

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated: 05/11/2023

Views: 6192

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.