Police said yesterday

that 29-year-old Carlisle Brigham was found at the bottom of a stairwell on Orchard Street "with a slash wound to the neck," indicating that her death may have been inflicted by a knife wound. But that theory may give way to another that she died in a bizarre accident. "I have no idea," one baffled police source told the Daily News. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Times that investigators are weighing the possibility that Brigham “struck her chin in a fall down a flight of marble stairs.” Brigham was also at a wedding on Sunday night, and continued "drinking heavily" when she returned to the city.

The Post offers the most details (all speculative) on Brigham's possible fall, noting that police initially ruled it was slashing because "there was so much blood around [her] neck when the body was found." One resident tells the paper that Brigham was wearing "all white. White top, white pants. And she had really high heels."

Brigham's autopsy results will not be completed until at least Tuesday. Brigham was staying with a friend at the apartment on 191 Orchard after she became estranged from her husband of one year, Anthony Champalimaud, a VP for "an Asian hotel conglomerate," YTL Hotels. Champalimaud was in London at the time of Brigham's death. Brigham had most recently worked as an intern in the paleontology department at the American Museum of Natural History.

Former Mayor Ed Koch worked with Brigham's father, James Brigham, who acted as the city's former budget director. "He called to tell me," Koch told the Daily News. "He was sobbing. I broke down and cried. She was absolutely extraordinarily beautiful," Koch said. "It just shook me as if I were kicked by a horse. It's just awful."