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Renowned French Academic Found Dead In NYC Hotel

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Michelangelo Hotel (credit: CBS 2)

Michelangelo Hotel (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Prominent French academic Richard Descoings was found naked in his 7th floor hotel room at Midtown’s Michelangelo Hotel on Tuesday, with no sign of trauma and no outward evidence of foul play, according to police.

NYPD investigators said colleagues at Columbia University called security to check on Descoings around 10 a.m. after he failed to show up at a scheduled conference at the university. He was alive at the time, but when they checked on him again at 1 p.m., he was dead in his bed.

CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis spoke with a hotel guest and French native staying just down the hall from Descoings.

“I asked what happened. They told me nothing,” she said. “I found that out later in the elevator. Somebody told me somebody had passed away. I asked who it was and they said ‘I don’t know.'”

Police wondered if Descoings may have had a guest in his room who might have been the last to see him alive in the hotel. Robbery did not appear to be a factor.

The hotel was still operating Tuesday, with guests continuing to come and go while the investigation continued.

“I like to stay here. It’s a very quiet, private, classic hotel. It’s not fun right now,” the guest said.

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