By LEE BULLEN
Beauty influencer Maja Janeska has been found dead from a gunshot wound to the head, police have confirmed.
The celebrity makeup artist, 39, had more than 1.2 million followers on social media and her death came as a shock to friends and family who have said her passing was under ‘mysterious circumstances.’
Police said the influencer, known as Maya Mia, was found dead at the plush home she shared with Kyle Phillips, who is co-director of the tobacco company Carnilinx, in Bassonia Estate, in South Africa‘s Johannesburg on December 2.
There was a firearm next to her. The woman was certified dead by the paramedics.’
Phillips said he was brushing his teeth in the bathroom when he heard a gunshot coming from their bedroom, according to reports.
Masondo would not comment on who owned the firearm, adding: ‘The police cannot comment on it now as that might jeopardize the investigation.’
Police confirmed they have opened an inquest into the influencer’s death, meaning it is not being treated as suspicious at the present time.
Following the makeup artist’s death, a family member told local media that Maja’sometimes feared for her life.’
‘She sometimes feared for her life. Her boyfriend had men working for him, and she feared them also,’ the anonymous relative told News24.
‘We are heartbroken, and we seriously don’t know what to do,’ the relative, who wished to remain nameless for safety purposes, added.
‘We are in Europe and our hands are tied because we can’t come to South Africa because of visa issues.
‘Maja is lying there in some mortuary, and we don’t have any clue as to what is actually happening.’
The family member said they were informed of her death by one of Phillips’ former associates who claimed suicide was currently the suspected cause.
‘I haven’t spoken to Kyle but I knew her very well,’ Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters political party, said.
‘We were friends. She was a very lovely lady, forward-looking.’
Nine days before her death, Maja told university students that she moved to Tanzania when she was 19 years old to work in a hotel.
During that time, she learned Swahili and launched her career as a makeup artist and stylist.
In her last-ever Instagram post on November 22, the influencer was pictured with Bujar Osman, North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
She said the meeting was aimed at ‘establishing diplomatic relations between my country Republic of North Macedonia and my second home the Republic of South Africa.’
The Macedonian influencer had more than a million Instagram followers at the time of her death who loved and supported her.
Her followers included celebrities such as actress Pearl Thusi, singer Tamara Dey, and TV personality Boity Thulo.
The investigation into her death is ongoing.