Mystery as influencer, 39, found dead with gunshot wound to head as family say she ‘feared for her life’

A BEAUTY influencer was found dead in her bedroom in South Africa with a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Maja Janeska, 39, died in the plush home she shared with cigarette tycoon Kyle Phillips in Johannesburg, under what her family has described as “mysterious circumstances”.

Maja Janeska, 39, was found dead at her home in Johannesburg

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Maja Janeska, 39, was found dead at her home in JohannesburgPhoto credit: Jam Press
Police said Maja, who had 1.2million followers on social media, was found with a gunshot wound to the head

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Police said Maja, who had 1.2million followers on social media, was found with a gunshot wound to the headPhoto credit: Jam Press

Officials were called to the Bassonia Estate luxury home on December 2, where Maja, who had 1.2million followers on social media, was pronounced dead.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Col. Mavela Masondo said: “Upon arriving at the given address, police found a woman in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head.

“There was a gun next to her. The woman was pronounced dead by paramedics.”

Police officers said Maja’s death was not being treated as suspicious – but her family said she “feared for her life at times” and friends claimed she was not suicidal.

And her boyfriend Kyle said he’s hiring his own pathologist to do an autopsy.

He told police officers he was brushing his teeth in the bathroom when he heard a gunshot from their bedroom, News24 reports.

Kyle’s ex-wife, Tracy, said he will “co-operate with the investigation.”

A relative said Maja’s family was in “absolute shock”.

“Our phones haven’t stopped ringing — this is all new to us,” they told News24.

“We are in Europe and our hands are tied because we cannot come to South Africa due to visa issues.

“She’s lying there in some morgue and we have no idea what’s really going on.”

They added: “She feared for her life at times. Her boyfriend had men who worked for him and she feared them too.

“We are heartbroken and seriously don’t know what to do.”

According to the relative, Maja’s family learned of her death from one of Kyle’s former associates, who called to let them know her body had been found.

They said Kyle was “distraught” when speaking to them about Maya’s death.

Janeska’s close friend Iva Ristic said: “I spoke to her on Thursday and she was not suicidal. She wasn’t that kind of person.

“She had just returned from a diplomatic trip to Macedonia.

“She was such a beautiful woman, full of life, very talented and ambitious.

“She loved life and I don’t see why anyone would harm her in any way.”

Speaking to university students just nine days before her death, Maja described how she moved to Tanzania at the age of 19 and started working in a hotel.

She learned Swahili and started her successful career as a make-up artist and stylist.

The influencer urged her young audience not to give up on their dreams.

“You can have good and bad moments in life, but you’re the one who can and should change things,” she said.

“Wish is one thing, self-confidence is another. Believe in yourself, because that’s the only way you’ll be successful.”

In her last Instagram post on November 22, Maja was pictured with North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Bujar Osman.

She said the meeting aims to establish diplomatic ties between “my country, the Republic of North Macedonia, and my second home, the Republic of South Africa.”

“The journey of bringing the two countries and nations together was my mission as a patriot, and love for both countries and nations drove me to initiate it,” she wrote.

“This relationship has brought amazing opportunities for business, education, tourism and the sharing of cultural experiences…

“My heart is filled with love and appreciation for both countries.”

Her relationship with Kyle – the co-director of Adriano Mazzotti’s cigarette company Carnilinx – has been described by friends as “on and off”.

The investigation into her death continues.

Maja's family said she died under

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Maja’s family said she died under “mysterious circumstances”.Photo credit: Jam Press
Cops said Maja's death was not being treated as suspicious - but her family said she was'fearing for her life at times'

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Cops said Maja’s death was not being treated as suspicious – but her family said she was ‘fearing for her life at times’Photo credit: Jam Press
In her last Instagram post, Maja was pictured with North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Bujar Osman

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In her last Instagram post, Maja was pictured with North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Bujar OsmanPhoto credit: Jam Press

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6885289/mystery-influencer-found-dead-gunshot-wound/ Mystery as influencer, 39, found dead with gunshot wound to head as family say she ‘feared for her life’

DevanCole

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