An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor was found dead with his arms bound behind his back in the bedroom of his Upper East Side apartment, and police were trying to determine Friday whether he knew his killer.
Guido Felix Brinkman was found facedown in his bed with a head injury under a sheet Thursday evening by the superintendent of the building at East 65th Street, police said.
The NYC Medical Examiner's offfice tonight said an autopsy showed that it was not the head injury that ultimately killed Brinkman. Instead, he died from "compression to the neck" -- in other words, strangulation.
The superintendent went inside the apartment where Brinkman lived by himself after someone called to say he hadn't been seen in a while, police said.
There was no sign of forced entry, but the New York Times reported that the apartment had been ransacked, as if someone had been looking for something.
His new blue Honda Civic with the license plate "FELIX B" was missing from the basement garage, police said.
Police were looking to talk to Brinkman's associates, including people who may have worked for him and had access to the apartment.
The building has a 24-hour doorman.
The medical examiner was expected to perform an autopsy Friday to determine a cause of death.
Bo Dietl, a high profile former NYPD detective-turned-private-eye, said Brinkman was a family friend and he rushed to the apartment when he heard the news.
Dietl said Brinkman had been sent to Auschwitz, where he was in line four times to be exterminated but survived the ordeal.
Brinkman's wife died a few years ago, and he is survived by his son, who was flying to New York from Portland, Ore., Friday morning, Dietl said.