Lina was found dead. But what – or who – killed her?

Adam Kaufman with wife Lina

Lina and Adam.

It was 6 November 2007 and Eleonora Kaufman had called round to her best friend Melissa’s house. Eleonora, or Lina, wanted to show something off – her first-ever spray-tan.

At 11pm, Lina, 33, said goodbye to Melissa Fedowitz. She drove back to the lavish house in Aventura, Miami, she shared with her hubby, Adam, 35, and son and daughter, aged 1 and 3.

But at 6.10am the next day, Adam called the emergency services. Hysterical, he said he’d found his wife lifeless in the bathroom.

Paramedics arrived. Adam said he’d woken up and found Lina slumped over the toilet. She wasn’t breathing. Now Lina had deep bruising to her neck, the blood vessels in her eyes had burst. Her upper body was covered in cuts and abrasions.

Cops searched the house as medics raced the pair to hospital. There were no signs of a struggle. But it seemed only one half of the bed had been slept in. And the bonnet of Adam’s Mercedes was warm, as if it’d just been driven.

Firemen who’d rushed to the scene had found Adam fully clothed – hardly like a man who’d just woken up. Meanwhile, Adam changed his story – said he’d found Lina collapsed on the bathroom floor with her head on a magazine rack.

Then, terrible news. Lina was dead. But why?

The A&E doctor had some first theories…

Perhaps she had a broken neck? Perhaps she was strangled? Perhaps she was hanged? Cops grew more suspicious when Melissa confirmed Lina had no bruises or cuts the night before.

So what’d happened? Adam told them she’d been prone to fainting. Perhaps she’d collapsed while on the loo and hit her head?

But he’d another theory too. Maybe she’d suffered a massive allergic reaction to the spray tan? Cops began months of intensive testing – toxicology, forensics.

A month on, Adam had a new girlfriend. Had he been cheating? Had he wanted Lina dead?

In April 2009, the cause of death was ruled as mechanical asphyxiation. She’d been throttled to death. Cops arrested Adam. Said he’d throttled her. He was charged with second-degree murder, and remanded in custody. He insisted he was innocent.

Further tests found scar tissue on Lina’s heart, caused by inflammation. Could a heart condition have been the cause?

In May 2012 Adam Kaufman was tried. The Chief Medical Examiner for the defence described the scarring on Lina’s heart, indicating ‘substantial heart disease.’ He argued she’d had a heart attack and fallen on the magazine rack, which blocked her airway.

Adam Kaufman in court

Adam in court. (Photo: PA Photos)

A CSI investigator confirmed there’d been no signs of a struggle. Even Lina’s mum testified in Adam’s defence.

As for the firemen finding Adam dressed. His twin brother had already rushed to the house when they’d arrived. Maybe it was him they’d met?

So had Adam killed Lina?

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. The verdict
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