Sylvie Cachay, Nicholas Brooks

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

A Manhattan mystery, indeed.

The 24-year-old former beau of swimwear designer Sylvie Cachay, whose body was found Thursday in an overflowing bathtub in a suite at the exclusive Soho House, was arrested and charged today on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree strangulation.

Before making the bust, detectives had obtained a search warrant to check out Nicholas Brooks' body for trauma or other telling signs that a struggle had occurred between him and Cachay.

Initial autopsy results on Cachay were inconclusive, pending the results of toxicology tests, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.

Cachay was found face up in the tub, wearing only underpants and a T-shirt. Investigators initially suspected suicide, because a half-empty prescription pill bottle was found nearby, but police later said that the 33-year-old had red marks on her neck and a bite mark on her hand, leading them to suspect foul play.

She had reportedly been staying at the members-only Soho House since a fire, caused by a candle, broke out at her West Village apartment.

Her parents told the Daily News that her breakup with Brooks after six months of dating had been amicable.

Investigators said that the suspect was spotted leaving the hotel Thursday night, then returning and leaving again before Cachay's body was found. When he got back at around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, police were in the room, having been summoned after water from the overflowing bathtub leaked into the room below.

Jeffrey C. Hoffman, an attorney for Brooks' father, Oscar-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks, said the elder Brooks hadn't spoken to his son since Cachay's death. He described the father-son relationship to the New York Times as "semi-estranged."

(Originally published Dec. 10, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. PT)

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