According to separate reports, investigators are suspecting both a violent domestic dispute and suicide as causes for Nicaraguan diplomat Cesar Mercado's death. Mercado was found dead in his Bronx apartment on Thursday, with 12 stab wounds to his abdomen and a slashed throat amidst overturned furniture. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says some of the wounds look like "hesitation" wounds, suggesting they were self inflicted.

Kelly said at a press conference, “If, in fact, there is a wound from an assailant, it’s generally very direct and it's in one motion. These wounds were described to me as not being in one motion." Mercado had recently been diagnosed with HIV, and an investigator told the Daily News, "He was really feeling down and out for the last week." However, Mercado was also clutching human hair in both hands, and though it is possible, it is questionable how he would have managed to inflict such deep wounds on his own throat. Sources previously told the Post, "Detectives are exploring the possibility he was murdered by someone outraged after he told them of his diagnosis."

His friends say they can't imagine him taking his own life. Amparo Amador said, "It was an animal, whoever did this. He didn't kill himself. It's a real tragedy," and Marlene Gonzalez, the president of the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Foundation, said, "It's a very strange situation. I can't say he could do that or no. We don't know that." Police are examining security cameras in the area, though the security camera in Mercado's building wasn't working.