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Who Killed Fashion Designer Sylvie Cachay?

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on December 13, 2010 5:46 AM

A bizarre, grisly murder was discovered when swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay was found dead in a New York hotel room on Dec. 9.

Cachay checked into the celebrity haunt Soho House in Manhattan with boyfriend Nick Brooks and that was the last time she was seen alive.

Cachay told Soho House employees she and Brooks were checking in because he accidentally set fire to her apartment, reports the New York Post. She was also reportedly so tired after taking a Xanax that she had to be helped to the room by a clerk. As she left the room the clerk reported hearing Cachay shouting at Brooks before going suddenly quiet.

Cachay's body was found in the bathtub with the water running. The Post reports that the leaking water alerted the hotel that something was wrong. On finding Cachay, the staff attempted to revive her and then called 911. Brooks arrived back in the room at about 3:30 a.m. to find police already there. Cachay's body had wounds on her neck that could indicate strangulation, bleeding in her eyes and a bite mark on her hand, reports the Post.

However, the autopsy has proved to be inconclusive, writes The Wall Street Journal. Toxicology tests are still pending.

Video footage shows Brooks entered and left the room several times that night. No one else was captured on film entering the room. The Journal reports Brooks was questioned by police into Friday morning before requesting his attorney. Based on the reports at this time, it seems likely that Brooks could be charged with murder.

If he is involved in his girlfriend's death, given the alleged drug use and arguing, the charges might well be for second-degree murder which is an unplanned, intentional killing in "the heat of passion." Second-degree murder carries less of a penalty than the pre-meditated first-degree charge.

Nick Brooks is the son of songwriter Joseph Brooks, 72, who wrote the award-winning song "You Light up My Life." Brooks Sr. is facing his own legal troubles, writes The Post. In 2009, he was charged with 82 counts of rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act and assault against young actresses in Los Angeles.

A publicist for Sylvie Cachay released a statement from her family and friends: "She was optimism and light personified and the world has lost a beautiful soul. She will be deeply and painfully missed."

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