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Boyfriend arraigned in death of swimsuit designer

By the CNN Wire Staff
Sylvie Cachay's body was found clothed in a bathtub in a Soho House hotel room.
Sylvie Cachay's body was found clothed in a bathtub in a Soho House hotel room.
  • NEW: The victim's brother says his parents are "devastated" by their daughter's death
  • Nick Brooks is arraigned in death of swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay
  • His lawyer says he is not guilty
  • Prosecutors say evidence points to the suspect

Read more from CNN affiliate WABC.

New York (CNN) -- The attorney for the boyfriend of a 33-year-old swimsuit designer, whose bruised body was found in a bathtub at an exclusive New York hotel, said he believes at least one other person besides his client had been in the room.

Nick Brooks, 24, whose father -- Joseph Brooks -- is the Oscar-winning composer and director who produced the song "You Light Up My Life," was arraigned Saturday night on charges of attempted murder and strangulation in the death of Sylvie Cachay. He pleaded not guilty.

"I believe he is, in fact, not guilty," attorney Jeffrey C. Hoffman said of Brooks.

According to CNN affiliate WABC, authorities are treating Cachay's death as a homicide. However, Brooks cannot be charged with murder until the medical examiner determines the death was the result of a homicide. Cachay's body was discovered early Thursday.

On Sunday, Cachay's brother said -- in comments issued through the late designer's spokeswoman -- that his parents "are devastated by the loss of their daughter, so much so that they cannot make a coherent statement at this time."

"Nobody should have to make arrangements to bury a child," said Patrick Orlando-Cachay. "It's a day-by-day grieving and healing process."

Opposing theory in designer's death

Police are investigating a specific timeframe in which the killing occurred. According to court documents, police said the only person in the hotel room with Cachay besides Brooks was a hotel employee who delivered ice and was inside for about one minute. Brooks escorted the employee into the room and remained after the worker left, police said.

Authorities said they relied on interviews with hotel employees and surveillance videos from the location.

Police discovered Cachay, whose designs were a celebrity favorite, at the Soho House club and hotel, according to a New York police spokesman who declined to be named, citing agency policy.

Brooks was Cachay's boyfriend, according to WABC. Cachay's body sustained bruising on the neck and bite marks, and was found clothed in the hotel room bathtub, the spokesman said. Hoffman told WABC he didn't believe the two were in the process of breaking up.

An autopsy indicated that the designer suffered injuries that were consistent with neck compression, court records show. Cachay suffered internal hemorrhaging, injuries to her scalp and cuts to her lips and mouth.

The medical examiner's office will provide more details surrounding Cachay's death "pending toxicology and tissue testing, which would take a few weeks," spokeswoman Grace Burgess said.

"Sylvie Cachay was one of those rare individuals who truly sparkled when she spoke," said publicist Kate Godici. "She will be deeply and painfully missed, yet celebrated, honored and never forgotten."

CNN's Julia Talanova contributed to this report.