Portuguese journalist killed in New York hotel
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Prominent Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro was found beaten to death at a luxury Manhattan hotel and a young man reported to be his companion was being held at a psychiatric hospital, officials said on Saturday.
Local media quoted police sources as saying Castro, 65, had been castrated and was left lying in a pool of blood. The New York City medical examiner’s office did not confirm those details but ruled the death a homicide after an autopsy.
"The cause of death is blunt impact injuries on the head and neck compression," medical examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said, declining to comment on any other injuries. Borakove said the victim had been identified as Castro.
A man was being held as a "person of interest" at New York’s Bellevue psychiatric hospital, a police spokeswoman said. A police source identified him as Renato Seabra.
The New York Times quoted detectives as saying Seabra, a model from Portugal who recently appeared on a reality television show, had checked into the InterContinental Hotel near Times Square with Castro about10 days ago.
Castro’s body was found in a room at the hotel early Friday evening.
The New York Post and other media said he had been beaten and his testicles were cut off, possibly with a broken wine glass. It said police found a bloody laptop computer in the room and were trying to determine if it was the murder weapon.
The Post also quoted police sources as saying that Seabra went to a local hospital with slashed wrists later on Friday night. He was taken from there to Bellevue, it said.
The Times, citing officials, said detectives had taken Seabra, 20, into custody and had him under guard at Bellevue on Saturday.
Castro was born in Angola during Portugal’s colonial rule in the African nation. He contributed to a wide range of media, including Diario de Noticias, 24 Horas and Correio de Manha, according to his website.