Authorities have filed attempted murder and strangulation charges against Nicholas Brooks, the boyfriend of a New York fashion designer found dead at an exclusive members-only hotel and private club in the city.
Sylvie Cachay's partially clothed body was discovered at 3 a.m. Thursday in an overflowing hotel bathtub at the SoHo House -- a boutique hotel often visited by celebrities and the wealthy.
Brooks, 24, the son of Oscar-winning composer Joseph Brooks, WAS cooperating with police before his arrest. Police said he had an attorney, but they did not know the lawyer's name, according to The Associated Press.
The charges came after authorities investigating the 33-year-old's death obtained a warrant to physically examine Brooks, including taking swabs and samples from Brooks' fingernails, the AP reported.
Officials trying to determine what caused Cachay's death said preliminary autopsy results have been inconclusive. Nevertheless, police have ruled the death a homicide, the AP reported.
According to police, Cachay had red marks around her collarbone. The New York Daily News reported investigators first were looking into whether Cachay died of a drug overdose, but later investigated if she was strangled.
Prescription drugs were discovered at the crime scene, but no illegal drugs were found.
Authorities removed several large brown bags from Cachay's West Village apartment yesterday.
Even before foul play officially was suspected, the death drew the attention of the media.
"Soho House is full of celebrities, has very prominent NYC membership and it's very exclusive," said New York magazine senior editor Chris Rovzar. "So of course, when a fashion designer is found dead in a hotel room here it's going to raise eyebrows."
Police say that Brooks and Cachey checked into the star-studded hotel after a small fire occurred in her downtown apartment. Brooks told authorities that the pair left to have some drinks with people he met at the hotel.
Hotel surveillance video -- which police have yet to release -- reportedly shows the couple checking into the hotel after midnight, according to those with knowledge of the tape. Brooks enters and exits the room several times between check-in at 12:30 and 1:45 am, then stays in the room for 30 minutes.
Police first were called to the scene at about 3 a.m. Thursday after a hotel guest noticed water leaking into a room below Cachay's.
When Brooks returned, he found police already in his room.
Brooks' father, Joseph, won an Oscar for writing the '70s hit "You Light Up My Life."
In a separate unrelated case, Joseph Brooks was indicted last year on more than 80 sex-related charges. He is accused of sexually assaulting several young actresses.
Brooks and Cachay had only been dating a few months, according to a friend and former publicist.
One friend described their relationship as "really tumultuous," said Rovzar.
Sylvie Cachay grew up both in Peru and the United States. Her father, Anthony Cachay, runs a successful medical practice in Virginia.
Cachay's father told the New York Daily News that Brooks and his daughter had broken up and he was unaware of any violence in the relationship.
Friends called Sylvie Cachay a "darling" of the fashion world.
"I'm devastated and still in shock," said Kim Figuerola, a business partner and friend of Cachay's. "I do want to make people understand how bright our star was."
Cachay designed for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret before breaking out to start her own fashion line of swimsuits.
Photos on her website show her celebrating her own swimwear line called "Syla" at the SoHo House.
Janice Ellinwood, a professor at Marymount University in Virginia, where Cachay studied, described Cachay as a vivacious young woman and a talented designer.
"She had a grace about her," Ellinwood said. "She had humility, and she also took great pride in her work."
Cachay's friends and family released a statement saying that "the world has lost a beautiful soul. She will be deeply and painfully missed."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.