Family of Slain Designer in Court as Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty

NYC medical examiner said victim was strangled, drowned

By John Noel
|  Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:38 PM EDT
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The brothers of a swimsuit designer found strangled and drowned in a swanky <a title=Manhattan hotel speak out after the arraignment of her alleged killer Nicholas Brooks, whose lawyer says Brooks wasn't on the premises when she died." />

The brothers of a swimsuit designer found strangled and drowned in a swanky Manhattan hotel speak out after the arraignment of her alleged killer Nicholas Brooks, whose lawyer says Brooks wasn't on the premises when she died.

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An Academy Award-winning songwriter's son has pleaded not guilty to murdering his swimsuit designer girlfriend in a trendy Meatpacking District hotel.

About a dozen members of designer Sylvie Cachay's family converged on a Manhattan court for Nicholas Brooks' brief appearance Tuesday. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Read suspect's alleged statement to detectives, according to court documents.

Describing his alleged crime as "painful and deliberate" prosecutors asked Cachay to be held without bond. The judge agreed to hold the 24-year-old Brooks without bail.

The 33-year-old Cachay was found dead Dec. 9 in an overflowing bathtub at the Soho House hotel. Medical examiners have found she was strangled and drowned.

Early on the morning of December 9, workers at the trendy Soho House Hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District found Cachay's body in an overflowing bathtub.

The New York City Medical Examiner later determined she had been strangled and drowned.

Police arrested Brooks, who had checked into the hotel with Cachay.

Friends of the victim say she had been dating the 24-year old Brooks for a few months and was in the process of breaking up with him.

Brooks is the son of Oscar-winning composer Joseph Brooks, who wrote the song "You Light Up My Life" and who faces his own legal troubles related to the alleged casting couch rapes of 11 women.

The elder Brooks is charged with numerous counts of sexual assault stemming from accusations that he attacked young women after luring them to his apartment with promises of acting jobs.

Brooks' lawyer has said she was "absolutely fine" when Brooks last saw her.

The defendant's father is "You Light Up My Life" writer Joseph Brooks.

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