2006_08_baretto.jpgYesterday, the papers reported that a man, Martin Barreto, was found dead in an apartment at 23 East 10th Street. And now it turns out that Barreto was a former press aide under Mayor Giuliani and had been strangled. The doorman apartment building, The Albert, is right off University Place, and Barreto lived in an apartment owned by his cousin and his cousin's wife. A doorman said one to two men visited Barreto late Sunday night-early Monday morning and that Barreto said he was expecting them; the Post's information says that one man visited briefly, and then two hours later, another man stopped by for 10-15 minutes. The police were called when a neighbor, concerned since Barreto had not answered any calls or responded to knocks on the door, contacted a doorman.

The police do not believe a robbery took place, but did find "an open condom wrapper and lubricant" near the body, as the NY Sun reports (the Post goes as far to say it was KY Jelly brand lubricant), leading them to think he may have been killed by someone he knew (the Daily News suggests, "possibly an enraged ex-lover or a man he met while cruising the Internet for gay sex."). Barreto's partner in a PR firm, Roxanna Brightwell, said that Barreto's last relationship "went sour" and that boyfriend had been "violent." The Albert is equipped with many surveillance cameras, but a source told the News that none of them were working.

Rudy Giuliani's spokeswoman Sunny Mindel expressed the former mayor's "heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Martin's family and friends." Barreto had worked under Giuliani handling Hispanic press from 1994-1995. He had been a journalist, attended Brown with John F. Kennedy Jr., was friendly with fellow Nicaraguan Bianca Jagger, and formed the PR firm with Brightwell nine years ago.