Missing Hollywood Actress Was Forced Into Stolen Truck Driven by Boyfriend: Police Tip
A forensic team is searching a stolen truck for evidence in the mysterious case of a missing aspiring actress, PEOPLE has confirmed.
Adea Shabani moved from Macedonia to Hollywood hoping to begin a career in movies or television. The 25-year-old landed a small role in an independent film and was looking for her big break.
But last month, she vanished. Shabani was last seen in Hollywood on Feb. 23, according to an Los Angeles Police Department news release obtained by PEOPLE. Her friends told local TV station KABC that they became worried for Shabani when she stopped responding to their text messages.
While Shabani has not yet been found, a man authorities identified as her boyfriend fatally shot himself in California Thursday night in a stand-off with police — and authorities believe the vehicle he was driving may contain clues to Shabani’s disappearance.
Christopher Spotz, 33, was driving a stolen Toyota Tacoma authorities believe had “possibly been used in a homicide which had occurred in Los Angeles County,” California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Dan Olivas said in a statement. (The identity of the possible homicide victim was not immediately clear.)
A car chase ensued, and Spotz eventually used a handgun to shoot himself in the head. In addition to Spotz, there was an unnamed passenger in the car.
PEOPLE confirms that investigators have impounded the Tacoma and a crime scene unit has been combing it for forensic evidence related to the Shabani case.
According to NBC-4 Los Angeles, days after Shabani disappeared, her friends went to the LAPD saying they had received an anonymous phone call from someone claiming to have seen Shabani placed in the bed of a truck by Spotz. She appeared to be “drugged and in danger,” the caller claimed.
Shabani’s Reported Boyfriend Also Had a Fiancée
A public information officer for the LAPD tells PEOPLE that, despite the search of the vehicle, Shabani’s disappearance is still being investigated as a missing person’s case, not a homicide.
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Law enforcement officials allege that Spotz was in a relationship with Shabani. They also say he had “just returned to Southern California from Colorado” where he was with his fiancée.
After Shabani’s disappearance, her mother flew from Macedonia to help with the search, putting up fliers in the area, KABC reports. Her family has also hired a private investigator.
“We have no evidence that she is a runaway. She’s not [voluntarily] missing. We don’t have any evidence that she wanted to harm herself,” private investigator Jayden Brant told the KABC.
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Shabani is described as a white female with blonde hair, blue eyes, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing approximately 130 lbs., according to police.
She was last seen near the 1700 block of Wilcox Avenue in L.A.
“Treat it as if it were your own family member, some of your own friends, because believe me if you met this girl, if you knew this girl, she would be a great friend to everybody that knows her,” friend Lisjen Jovanovski told KABC.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (during off-hours) or call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.