Nicaraguan diplomat's NYC death is ruled a suicide

AP News
Posted: Oct 29, 2010 4:08 PM
Nicaraguan diplomat's NYC death is ruled a suicide

A Nicaraguan diplomat found in his bloodied apartment with his throat slashed and dozens of stab wounds last month committed suicide, the medical examiner's office said Friday.

A driver found Cesar Mercado, 34, in his Bronx home Sept. 22 after he failed to show up for work at Nicaragua's Permanent Mission. Besides the stab wounds, he had ingested a household cleaner and his throat had been cut.

Mercado was on the floor inside the front door, which was unlocked. The bathroom sink was full of blood. A smaller knife was found in the sink, and another 19-inch knife was found near it.

Mercado's body was found during the U.N. General Assembly's annual meeting, when hundreds of heads of state were in New York City. The case was investigated as a homicide initially, though detectives noticed some of the wounds appeared to be self-inflicted.

His friends had said he had been ill lately and was a diabetic, but they also described him as a kind, happy, caring person who had no enemies. No note was found in his apartment.

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The medical examiner's office said the cause of death was self-inflicted slash wounds to the neck.

Mercado's family was in Nicaragua and he lived in the U.S. alone. His body was being sent to his home city of Masatepe, Nicaragua, for burial.

The Nicaraguan mission didn't return a call seeking comment. It expressed condolences for Mercado's family in an earlier statement.