The investigation into the slaying of cop-turned-reality-TV-attorney Loredana Nesci continued Thursday in Redondo Beach, while Nesci's boyfriend remained in police custody as a suspect in her killing.
Nesci, the star of SundanceTV's "Loredana, Esq.," was killed inside the home she shared with her boyfriend in the 1900 block of Nelson Avenue, Redondo Beach Police Sgt. Fabian Saucedo said. She was 47.
Her boyfriend, Robert Reagan, was "distraught" when he called police to the home about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday to report an emergency, Saucedo said.
"It was kind of weird actually. He didn't say anything. It's one of those things we call an unknown trouble call," Saucedo said Thursday. "It was very vague, like 'What's going on?'"
Police automatically respond to 911 calls, so they drove by Nesci's home — and Reagan was outside to meet them, Saucedo said.
"He gave them details of what may have occurred, and as a result, [the officers] decided they better go in and check the welfare. That's where they found the body," Saucedo said.
A cause of death has not been determined, and an autopsy was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Nesci was not shot, Saucedo said.
"Obviously it was some kind of domestic dispute; otherwise, it wouldn't have led to this," Saucedo said.
After police discovered Nesci's body, Reagan, 51, was arrested on suspicion of murder. He is being held on $1-million bail and is due in court Friday.
When the scene unfolded outside Nesci's home Wednesday morning, neighbors began to wonder what happened, and they weren't surprised when they found out, said resident Alex Agnone.
"I figured someone was hurt badly. ... I sadly knew it was going to be the woman," Agnone recalled Thursday.
Agnone said she stepped outside the previous morning and found the street filled with police cars. There were at least six officers alongside six more plainclothes detectives and a fire truck, she said.
"It's so scary," she said. "All the neighbors said they didn't hear anything."
Agnone, who works as a nanny for the family living across the street from Nesci's home, said she and many others on the street never spoke with the woman or her boyfriend.
It's a safe, quiet neighborhood, and "you don't think of anything like this happening," she said.
Neighbor Nicole Peterson, 29, said she didn't hear any fighting before Nesci's death. She said the couple argued regularly, at least a couple times a week.
"But then I heard nothing for at least a month," Peterson said as she walked past leftover construction materials in front of Nesci's home Thursday. "I guess it was the calm before the storm."
Nesci and Reagan have a young son who was not home when police arrived, Saucedo said.
Neighbors told the Daily Breeze that Nesci was the breadwinner and Reagan supervised constant renovations to their home. There was occasional tension but nothing that would lead friends to believe there would be violence, friends told the newspaper.
"Loredana was just not somebody to go quietly where you wanted her to go," Nesci's friend Laura Riffel told the Breeze. "She was a strong person as a police officer and attorney. She had the best hopes for their relationship. She wanted things to be happy and be good. She didn't need a constant second-guessing of her calls and scheduling; he just needed to relax."
A native of Connecticut, Nesci joined the LAPD in 1996 and worked as a patrol officer in the southwest division, according to a biography on her website. An LAPD spokeswoman declined to confirm that Nesci was a former employee, citing privacy issues.
Nesci said she was among the officers present during the North Hollywood shootout.
Her career with the LAPD was brief. She left the department in 1998 and enrolled in law school at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. In 2004, she returned to California and melded her legal career with pursuits in entertainment and media, including hosting a radio show on KCAA-AM (1050).