Rebecca Zahau
The Coronado home of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp chief executive Jonah Shacknai is pictured in California July 14, 2011. Reuters

Adam Shacknai, the brother of Rebecca Zahau's boyfriend, was found responsible for the death of the woman at Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, California. A civil jury in San Diego also awarded Zahau's family $5 million in damages after they found Adam liable for her death in 2011, ABC News reported.

In July 2011, Zahau was found hanging naked from the second-story balcony of her then-boyfriend Jonah Shacknai's Coronado mansion. Her death was ruled a suicide by authorities, but in 2013, her family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Adam along with Jonah Shacknai's ex-wife and Max's mother, Dina Shacknai, and her twin sister, Nina Romano, as defendants. After an investigation, the names of others were dropped from the lawsuit, except that of Adam's.

Zahau family’s lawyer accused Adam of sexually assaulting and then killing the woman before staging her death to look like a suicide. Zahau and Jonah had been dating for about two years at the time of her death.

Adam, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, came to California after nephew — 6-year-old Max —suffered brain injuries in a fall from a staircase. Adam was staying in the mansion’s guest house.

Adam was the one who found Zahau's body when he walked over to the main area of the Mansion to get coffee. He became a suspect in the case and undertook a lie detector test, results of which were inconclusive. Adam denied any involvement in Zahau's death and was later cleared by authorities.

Authorities said at the time, only Zahau's fingerprints and DNA were found at the scene even though Adam told them he had cut Zahau down from the rope. He also told authorities he performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in an effort to revive Zahau.

After the jury verdict Wednesday, Zahau's attorney C. Keith Greer said the case was never about money, adding the family is going to petition the sheriff to "reopen the case to declassify it as a suicide and reclassify it as an open investigation" and use their resources to investigate Zahau's death. "One thing we were really lacking was resources."

In a press release obtained by People magazine, the sheriff's department said it “stands by the findings of the Medical Examiner’s Office and our investigators. These findings were supported by forensic evidence and medical examinations."

“We are always open to reviewing any evidence that could impact our conclusions,” the department said. “Additionally, we are also willing to meet with the Zahau Family to look at any new evidence that came out of the civil trial.”