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Body in dry ice had no trauma

Autopsy shows woman found in hotel room was overdose victim.

August 13, 2008|Susannah Rosenblatt | Times Staff Writer

The body that was found packed in dry ice in a Newport Beach hotel room in March showed no evidence of physical trauma, according to a final autopsy report released Tuesday by the Orange County coroner's office.

Monique Felicia Trepp, 33, died from a combined overdose of cocaine and alcohol, according to the report. Coroner's officials originally confirmed the cause of death in May.

Trepp's body, which was described in the autopsy as "moderately decomposed," was stored in a 2-by-3-foot plastic bin in a room at the posh Fairmont Newport Beach hotel, where she and her boyfriend, Stephen David Royds, 47, had lived.

Police who were searching the room March 6 while investigating Royds on suspicion of possessing and selling cocaine discovered Trepp's body stashed on ice. Investigators believe she may have been dead for as long as a year.

Trepp, a former stripper and waitress who also had lived in Huntington Beach, was found wearing a beige, floral halter top and black underwear, and had dyed blond hair, "pink-orange" toenail polish and no signs of defensive injuries on her extremities, according to the coroner's report.

Forensic pathologists found "possible pill residue" in her stomach, but did not identify the substance. The report also cites fatty liver -- a condition that can be linked to excessive alcohol consumption.

Authorities described Royds and Trepp as drug abusers who crashed at the upscale hotel near John Wayne Airport.

Royds, a New Zealand native, was arrested on one felony count of selling cocaine and one count of possessing cocaine for sale.

He remains in custody in Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, ineligible for bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28 at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

Royds is not a suspect in Trepp's death, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. "At this time we're just moving forward with the case as it stands," she said.

In a jailhouse interview with the Orange County Register, Royds said he preserved his girlfriend "for religious reasons."

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susannah.rosenblatt@latimes.com

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