Composer's Son Questioned in Designer's Hotel Death

Victim appears to have bruises on her neck and a bite mark on her hand

A woman found dead in an overflowing bathtub at a posh Manhattan hotel has been identified as a successful swimsuit designer, and law enforcement officials said her boyfriend, the son of a famous songwriter, was being questioned by police.

Sylvie Cachay, 33, was discovered partially clothed in a full bathtub around 3 a.m. Thursday, and had bruises on her neck and a bite on her hand, police sources said.  The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

Police are questioning the woman's boyfriend, Nicholas Brooks, 26, who has not been charged with any crime. Nicholas Brooks is the son of "You Light Up My Life" songwriter Joseph Brooks, who is fighting charges of molesting aspiring actresses.

Cachay was a swimsuit designer who lived in the West Village, law enforcement sources said.  She has worked for Anne Cole, Victoria's Secret and her own line of swimwear called Syla.

Police say Nicholas Brooks was not in the SoHo House hotel room when police arrived around 3 a.m. Thursday but he returned a few hours later.

A friend told reporters Cachay had been dating Brooks for about six months.

The pair apparently checked into the hotel on Ninth Avenue last night and Cachay reportedly is a member of the exclusive SoHo House.  Prescription drugs were found in the room, but the pills were in the bottle, police said. The room was not in disarray, and no illegal drugs were found.

A housekeeper from the hotel heard the couple arguing, and a little while later, another housekeeper several floors below noticed water dripping from the ceiling. That's when authorities went into the room and found the dead woman in the large jacuzzi bathtub around 2 a.m.

The SoHo House website says it has 24 rooms that offer guests "a unique combination of luxury and style.''

It says card-carrying members have to be verified at the front desk. The building has a screening room, library and heated rooftop pool and fine dining.     

Cachay grew up with dual citizenship, splitting her time between Peru and Virginia. She graduated from Marymount College with a degree in design. Before she started her own company, she interned at Marc Jacobs and worked for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret. She left the lingerie empire in 2006 to start her own collection.

"I'm so proud to be making this dream come to fruition," she said when her line debuted.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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