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Police Investigating After Chelsea Man Found Dead Inside Apartment

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Chelsea murder investigation (credit: CBS 2)

Chelsea murder investigation (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating after a 57-year-old man was found murdered in Chelsea.

Businessman John Laubach was discovered dead in his bed just before 8 p.m. Friday inside his fourth floor apartment on West 22nd Street. Investigators say he was naked, gagged with a towel around his head and with hands bound with duct tape.

The 57-year old man was found murdered in his bed, reportedly gagged- a towel around his head… With his hands bound with duct tape. A friend had gone to the man’s apartment to check on him, and found him unconscious. He was pronounced him dead at the scene.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

A man who lives across the hall told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan that he didn’t know the victim personally, but he often saw him with a white, pet bird on his shoulder.

“He had a parrot. That was his, that’s what made him stand out,” the neighbor said.

“Very friendly, very nice, always said ‘Hello.’ I’m as surprised as the next person,” said neighbor Tom Orlando.

Chelsea resident Jeff Pica would often see the man sitting outside at a neighborhood cafe.

“Right around here, he would walk around with the bird on his shoulder. He would sit here, drinking coffee, with a bird on his shoulder,” he said.

There appeared to be no forced entrance to the victim’s apartment.

“He kept to himself a lot,” said one man who lives next door. “He was mostly quiet, just in and out.”

Police say a woman, who neighbors described as a cleaning lady, made the discovery.

“Police were out here questioning everyone and she looked like she just discovered a body basically,” said the resident next door.

Detectives are continuing their investigation, classifying it as a homicide as they wait for the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

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