Officials: Diplomat found dead in BX ingested drain cleaner

NEW YORK - (AP) - A Nicaraguan diplomat found dead in his Bronx apartment had ingested drain cleaner, another indication hemight have killed himself, a law enforcement official saidThursday.

Cesar Mercado, 34, was found in his Bronx apartment lastThursday by a driver after he did not show up for work at his jobat Nicaragua's Permanent Mission. He had dozens of stab wounds andhis throat had been cut. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saidsome of the wounds appeared to have been self-inflicted.

The medical examiner's initial autopsy required further study,and a cause of death has not yet been determined.

The caustic cleaner Mercado ingested came from a plastic bottlelabeled in Spanish that was found in the apartment, the officialsaid. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because theinvestigation was ongoing.

There were no signs of forced entry, and Mercado's apartmentdoor was unlocked. He was found just inside the door. Two kniveswere found at the scene, a 19-inch (48-centimeter) and a smallerone found in a sink that was filled with blood.

Mercado's death coincided with, but was not related to, theUnited Nations General Assembly's annual meeting, which broughtmore than 100 international leaders to New York.

His friends say that Mercado had been looking sick lately, andthey thought he had been diagnosed with diabetes. The PermanentMission said Mercado's body was being flown back to his home of Masatepe, Nicaragua for burial.

Wake held for Nicaraguan consul found dead in BXInvestigation continues into diplomat's deathNicaraguan diplomatic official found dead in the Bronx

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