A wealthy widower has been found strangled to death in his Upper East Side apartment with the door locked from the inside and days worth of deliveries at the door.
Christopher Cooley, 78, was seated on the couch in his living room with a necktie wrapped twice around his neck when the building’s super came in through a back door.
Cooley had congealed blood in his hair and a pillow over his head, the New York Times reported There was a shattered lamp at his feet.
Coroners said on Friday that Cooley had been strangled to death.
‘The cause of death is ligature strangulation, and the manner of death, homicide,’ Dr Barbara Sampson, the city’s chief medical examiner, said.
Cooley, who lived on East 64th Street in New York, had $192 worth of cash in his pockets according to the New York Post.
Police found no sign of a break-in or robbery and the deadbolt was locked.
When Cooley was found on March 16, newspapers dating back to March 5 had piled up at the door.
His disappearance went unnoticed for a while because he took frequent trips to Europe without telling anyone in the building beforehand, a doorman told the New York Times.
Cooley’s sister, who lives out of state, got worried when she wasn’t able to reach him and asked the super, Ray Kasaj, to go in.
That was when they found Cooley’s body in the living room.
‘That is something that stays with you. I still have the smell in the pit of my stomach,’ Kasaj told the New York Post at the time.
Investigators are looking into two potential suspects in the death of Cooley, a Yale graduate who came from Hartford, the New York Post wrote.
One of his close friends described him to the newspaper as a ‘trust fund kid’ who was ‘tall and handsome’ and ‘an absolutely grand man’.
Cooley, who loved opera and the Renaissance, had taken care of his wife for 26 years after she developed multiple sclerosis.
He had lived in Venice in the past and according to the New York Times met poet Ezra Pound, who was charged with treason for supporting fascist forces in Italy.