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Nicaraguan diplomat found dead in New York apartment

From Susan Candiotti, CNN
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NYPD: Diplomat found dead
  • Cesar Mercado's throat was slashed, police say
  • A knife was found at the scene, police deputy commissioner says
  • He says it's too early to determine if it was murder or suicide

New York (CNN) -- A Nicaraguan diplomat based in New York was found dead in his apartment in the Bronx on Thursday, his throat slashed, police said.

The consul of Nicaragua in New York, Cesar Mercado, 34, was found by his driver, said Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

A knife was found at the scene, Browne said.

The body was found dressed just inside the front door to the apartment, and the door had been left unlocked, Browne said.

Investigators were looking at the case as a murder, he said.

"It appears to be a homicide," he said.

  • Nicaragua

A resident who lives in the apartment below Mercado's told CNN he heard "screaming and banging" from Mercado's residence Wedneday night. Mercado lived on the sixth floor of the building.

Mercado's driver may have been picking him up to take him to meet with the Nicaraguan delegation attending the United Nations General Assembly, police said.

Mercado was found at about 10:30 a.m., said Danilo Rosales Diaz, deputy permanent representative of Nicaragua to the United States.

Mercado had lived in the United States for eight years and had been consul the entire time, Rosales said.

"He was here yesterday, working yesterday," he said, adding that the death was a "shock."

CNN's Ross Levitt and Christina Romano contributed to this report.