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Zahau death lawsuit: Neighbor heard scream for help

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SAN DIEGO -- Family attorneys played audio in court Wednesday of a neighbor who told investigators she heard a woman cry for help the night Rebecca Zahau died.

Adam Shacknai is accused in the wrongful death lawsuit brought on by the family of Zahau, the 32-year-old woman found in July of 2011 naked, gagged and hanging from the second-story balcony of the Coronado mansion belonging to her boyfriend, Adam Shacknai’s brother.

It’s believed Adam Shacknai was the only other person in the mansion with Zahau that night.

The neighbor said she lived two doors down from the mansion and described what she heard for investigators.

“She went, ‘aaagh!’ Then she yelled, ‘help!’ As clear as it was I don’t think she was in the back of the house – I think she was out in front.  Right out in front … you know, down there in the front yard," said the neighbor.

Zahau’s death was ruled a suicide, but her family believes Shacknai sexually assaulted, then murdered her.

Shacknai’s attorneys claim Zahau killed herself after realizing her boyfriend’s 6-year-old son was not going to survive a fall from the mansion’s staircase two days earlier while Zahau was babysitting him.

Shacknai's attorneys say the investigation was thorough and there is no forensic evidence linking him to Zahau's death.

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