The boyfriend of the fashion designer who was found dead in a Meatpacking District hotel bathtub was charged with attempted murder yesterday. Nicholas Brooks, 24, was charged with strangled Sylvie Cachay, 33, but the medical examiner's initial autopsy results were inconclusive. WABC reports, "Police are treating the death as a homicide, but Brooks cannot be charged with murder until the medical examiner's office rules the death was a homicide." A police source told the Daily News, "The District Attorney made the call. They believe she was at least injured by him. But they can't prove, at least not yet, that those injuries caused her death"

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, "We have enough [evidence] at this point to charge him with attempted murder and strangulation. He talked to us but has not confessed." Cachay's body, partially clothed in a t-shirt and underwear and submerged in a tub, was found early Thursday morning after another person staying at the Soho House complained about water leaking from the ceiling around 3 a.m. Brooks was seen leaving the hotel at 2 a.m. and returned at 3:30 a.m., only to be taken to the police precinct for questioning. The News' source added "We're confident the intent to kill her was there. That's what you need for attempted murder - that he wanted to kill her," while the Post's source said, "He definitely intended to kill her, but we can't prove that he did. We're not sure if strangulation or drowning caused her death." The police had a warrant to "take saliva swabs in Mr. Brooks's mouth, examine and collect anything found under his fingernails and search his body for marks."

The couple started dating a few months ago, after the swimsuit designer's poodle was run over by a car. Brooks, described as "hard-partying and unemployed", allegedly soothed the distraught woman who was grieving for her pet. But more recently the pair seemed to be arguing; the couple allegedly went to stay at the Soho House on Wednesday night because Brooks had left candles burning around Cachay's bed in her West Village apartment, causing a fire.

Brooks, whose father Joseph Brooks is an Oscar-winning songwriter and accused rapist, had an apartment in the East Village with three roommates. The News reports, "Neighbors there said pot smoke wafted into the hallway and parties went on into the wee hours. 'A lot of them, their parents pay their rent,' said one neighbor who called the cops several times about the noise. 'I don't think they know what it's like to work an honest day.'" The NY Times spoke to Joseph Brooks' lawyer, who said "he believed that Mr. Brooks was supported financially by his father but had been working in a bakery recently" adding, "My understanding is, I think [the father and son's relationship is] a semi-estranged one."