National News

Human Remains Found in California May Be Linked to Missing Actress

Posted March 27, 2018 5:49 p.m. EDT

— LAPD detectives have responded to Northern California to investigate a suspected shallow grave as they continue their search for an actress who has been missing for more than a month, authorities said Tuesday.

The possible grave was found on the banks of Dry Creek in the Spencerville Wildlife Area, in an area about 50 miles north of Sacramento, according to a statement from the Nevada County Sheriff's Office.

The Los Angeles Police Department contacted the office Monday to notify sheriff's officials that they were working an active missing persons case in the area.

Detectives from LAPD and the Sheriff's Office, as well as anthropologists from Cal State Chico are at the scene working to determine if there are any human remains buried at the location and whether those remains are tied to an active missing persons case, the statement said.

However, a source close to the investigation told KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento that remains have been found at the location, and may be those of 25-year-old Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress who vanished last month under suspicious circumstances.

LAPD only confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the search was related to Shabani's disappearance.

Shabani, an acting student who moved to L.A. from Macedonia, was last seen near her Hollywood apartment on Feb. 23, according to police.

Concerned friends reported her missing after she failed to show up for an important acting class and stopped responding to calls or text messages. Her mother flew out from Macedonia as friends canvassed the area in a frantic and desperate search.

Then, last Thursday, a 33-year-old man thought to be Shabani's boyfriend shot and killed himself in the Corona area after a lengthy police chase involving a stolen Toyota Tacoma, a source told KTLA.

Shabani was apparently last spotted in the Tacoma, LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera told the Times.

The California Highway Patrol said the pursuit suspect was possibly tied to a homicide in Los Angeles County, but did not elaborate on the case.

The man, identified by the L.A. County Coroner as Christopher Spotz, attended the same acting school as the missing woman, friends said.

The source said the two were romantically linked, although a friend of Spotz who spoke with KTLA Monday night said he was unaware of a romantic relationship between them.

The friend, who asked not to be identified, also went to the Stella Adler Academy of Acting.

"When I first heard that he had possibly been the one to have done this, I was just like, 'This is not the Chris I know,'" the man told KTLA.

He described Spotz as "funny, could be the life of the party if he needed to be, or could be in the back if he needed to be. He was whatever you needed at that moment."

Authorities have not indicated that Spotz is involved in Shabani's disappearance.

Police described Shabani as white, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 130 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800, or 877-527-3247 during non-business hours or on weekends. Anonymous tips can also be left through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-800-222-8477 or going directly to http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.