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Ex-Boyfriend Says Fashion Designer Was ‘Fine’ When Last Seen

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Nicholas Brooks (Photo/Terry Sheridan), Sylvie Cachay (Getty Images)

Nicholas Brooks (Photo/Terry Sheridan), Sylvie Cachay (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS 2) – The lawyer of the ex-boyfriend accused of trying to kill his girlfriend before her body was found at the upscale SoHo House Hotel told the judge that she was “absolutely fine” when he last saw her there.

After authorities found Syvlie Cachay dead on Thursday morning, they arrested Nicholas Brooks, 24, and charged him with attempted murder and strangulation of Cachay, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reports.

Brooks faced a judge in the Manhattan Criminal Court on Saturday morning and attorney Jeffrey Hoffman said that Brooks was “not guilty of any criminal charges in this case.”

Brooks and Cachay had been dating for six months until the two split recently.

The victim’s family in Virginia is confident police have the right man.

“We are all thinking that he was responsible for her death,” Francoisse Jakobsson, the victim’s cousin, said.

Detectives have been in and out of Cachay’s Greenwich Village apartment collecting evidence. It’s there that police believe a night of violence for the beautiful entrepreneur began.

On the evening she was killed, neighbors said they heard arguing.

“It sounded like somebody attacked her,” one neighbor said.

That same night the couple checked in to the exclusive Soho House Club and Hotel.

Hours later, an overflowing hotel bathtub led security to her room where they found Cachay’s body submerged in the tub.

“My condolences to her family and my prayers to him,” Brooks’ neighbor Bridgette Masella said.

Brooks is the son of Oscar-winning songwriter James Brooks. The 72-year-old father is awaiting trial after being accused of raping 11 women.

Brooks’ neighbors said he’s nothing like his dad, and that the suspect is quiet and respectful.

“But no wild parties, not with Nicholas upstairs.  Two years ago with the other kids. Yeah,” Masella said.

Neighbor Jay Peck said he was shocked to hear about Brooks’ case.

Cachay’s autopsy results are inconclusive as toxicology tests are pending. Sources did say drugs were found in the victim’s system though.

Meanwhile, her family is still heartbroken.

“They are devastated.  It’s their baby.  It’s my uncle’s baby.  It’s his little girl,” Jakobsson said. “This is everything he lived for.  He’s devastated and angry.”

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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