NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork) — More questions than answers surround the brutal murder of a high-ranking Nicaraguan diplomat Friday as police search for both a suspect and a motive.
There were startling revelations concerning the case, suggesting that the man may have known it was coming. Police believe the break they needed may have well been in the alleged victim’s own hands.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman reported that after Friday’s revelations, investigators weren’t so confident the case was a murder after all.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Mercado has been stabbed 12 times, but that there were some conflicting clues, including the slash across Mercado’s throat, which experts called a ” hesitation wound.”
“Hesitation wound is a wound that potentially could be made by an individual himself. In other words, it could be self-inflicted,” Kelly said.
Kelly also said detectives saw what might be a murder clue clenched tightly in Mercado’s hands.
“I can tell you also that there was some human hairs found in both hands of the deceased,” Kelly said.
Whether it was an alleged killer’s hair or Mercado’s own, police don’t know yet. Like many other friends of Mercado, Amparo Amador said the diplomat had lately spoke as if he was about to die.
“One day he told me, I want to…if I die here, I don’t want to, funeral. I don’t want nothing here. Close the box, close the casket [send it to] Nicaragua,” Mercado said.
Friends of Mercado honored his memory Friday with flower tributes left outside his Grand Concourse apartment where he was found dead Thursday.
Mercado was found at 10:35 a.m. by his driver, who was picking him up for the United Nations General Assembly’s annual meeting. The driver found the door ajar and Mercado’s body lying just inside the blood-spattered apartment with a knife on the floor next to him, police said. The victim was also clutching hair in both his hands.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)