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NYPD arrests boyfriend in designer’s death

Associated Press / December 11, 2010

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NEW YORK — The son of an Oscar-winning songwriter was arrested yesterday on charges of choking his girlfriend, a fashion designer who was found dead and half-clothed in an overflowing bathtub in a posh hotel, police said.

Nicholas Brooks, 24, was arrested on charges of attempted murder and strangulation in the death of Sylvie Cachay, 33, who was discovered around 3 a.m. Thursday at the Soho House hotel.

He had been at a police precinct for more than a day and was cooperating with investigators, who obtained a search warrant to take swabs from under his fingernails.

Police said the death was ruled a homicide, but the medical examiner’s office has not determined a cause of death pending toxicology test results after an autopsy was inconclusive. The results could take days.

Brooks, the son of “You Light Up My Life’’ writer Joseph Brooks, has an attorney, but police didn’t know the lawyer’s name.

Cachay, wearing a black top and underwear, was found submerged in the tub, face up, after hotel staff noticed the ceiling below her room was leaking. She had red marks around her neck and a bite mark on her hand, investigators said.

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