A housekeeping manager at the Essex House has confessed to the stabbing murder of Sara Bejjani after investigators say he attempted to rape the woman who had been residing inside the luxury hotel along Central Park South. 29-year-old Derrick Praileau had worked at the hotel since he was 17 and is described as being known for having a "flash temper." He told police that he showed up drunk before his 6 a.m. shift Saturday, used his key to get into Bejjani's 10th floor apartment and then admits, "I just lost it."

The 44-year-old Bejjani was a Lebanese-born businesswoman who founded an investment firm in Dubai and was politically active, having volunteered for the Obama campaign. Neighbors were spooked that an employee of Essex had used his access to get into her sublet. One woman, who would only go by "Gina", said, "A woman lost her life, and her soul, right below us. It's terrible."

Pralieau is a married father of two who lives on White Plains Road in the Bronx. He did not confess trying to rape Bejjani, but investigators said they believe he went off when she tried to fight him off. Police videotaped the confession where the housekeeping manager who had been eying the victim for weeks says he choked her (Bejjani was found with a jumprope around her neck) and then stabbed her with a 10-inch bread knife. A Bronx neighbor described Pralieau and his wife by saying, “They barely ever do anything. He rarely comes outside unless he’s going to work or to the store.”