Mystery Surrounds Death of Man Found Tied Up, Gagged

Police are investigating the death.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 57-year-old man was found dead inside his Manhattan apartment Friday evening, his hands tied to the bed and his mouth covered by Duct tape, authorities said. (Published Sunday, Mar 4, 2012)

    A 57-year-old man was found dead inside his Manhattan apartment Friday evening, his hands tied to the bed and his mouth covered by Duct tape, authorities said.

    The victim was found unconscious in his fourth-floor apartment at 212 West 22nd St. in Chelsea just before 8 p.m. Friday, when a friend went to check on him, according to police. She discovered him bound and breathless.

    His arms were found bound to the bedpost by an electrical cord, his mouth gagged with tape and his face covered with a towel, authorities said.

    Emergency responders pronounced the man dead at the scene. The medical examiner is working to determine the cause of death.

    Police would not identify the victim, but neighbors said he is John Laubach. They said he had only been in the apartment for about a year and that he lived alone with his pet cockatoo, often seen perched on his shoulder.

    "He's a very nice man," said a woman who lived in the building. "He took great love of his bird and would take him out in the nice weather."

    "He was pretty friendly with everyone in the building," said another neighbor on the victim's floor.

    "It's awful, just awful,"  the woman added. "We've had robberies, things like that. But never a homicide."