This afternoon the NYC Medical Examiner has concluded that 29-year old Carlisle Brigham died from “blunt impact trauma to her neck.” The finding confirmed what police suspected late yesterday and today — that the young woman’s death inside a Lower East Side apartment building was an accident.
Results of toxicology tests won’t be available for a few weeks.
Brigham fell down a flight of marble stairs at 191 Orchard Street yesterday morning after a night of heavy drinking. Estranged from her husband, she was temporarily staying with a friend. Brigham’s father heads an investment bank in St. Louis and once served as New York City’s budget director.
Brigham worked at the Museum of Natural History until this past spring.
Police investigators say it appears the death of 29-year old Carlisle Brigham yesterday inside a Lower East Side apartment building was probably a tragic accident. Her injuries were so severe that police and paramedics initially suspected someone might have slashed her throat. But NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said last night it’s possible Brigham died after she “struck her chin in a fall down a flight of marble stairs.” Autopsy results likely won’t be available until later today.
Brigham, the daughter of a well-to-do St. Louis family, was separated from her husband, Anthony Champalimaud. They were married a year ago. She was staying with a friend at 191 Orchard Street, just below East Houston. Yesterday police indicated the primary resident of the apartment was being interviewed by police, but was not considered a suspect. Police yesterday described him as a boyfriend. But today the Daily News reports the two were “platonic” friends.
Carlisle Brigham with husband Anthony Champalimaud; New York Times “Weddings” section; August 2011.
The woman who died this morning after being slashed and after falling down a flight of stairs has been identified. She was 29-year old Carlisle Brigham of St. Louis. The photo posted above appeared in the New York Times last August following her marriage to Anthony Champalimaud.
According to the Times profile, Brigham’s father is chairman of a St.Louis investment bank. In the late 1970’s and 1980’s he served in New York City government as budget director and as chair of the NYC Public Development Corp. Carlisle Brigham graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She reportedly worked for the Museum of Natural History. The Times said Champalimaud, now 34, worked in Connecticut as vice president for acquisition, strategy and development for Malysian conglomerate YTL. He is from a prominent Portgugese banking family.
Brigham was found in the stairwell at 191 Orchard Street around 10 o’clock this morning. The medical examiner is determining whether she died from falling down the staircase or from stabbing wounds to the neck. Police say it’s unclear whether she was murdered, the victim of an accident or whether she took her own life.
Earlier today the Wall Street Journal reported Brigham was estranged from her husband and staying in the Orchard Street apartment temporarily with a male roommate. That roommate was interviewed by police but he is not considered a suspect. WNBC called Champalimaud her ex-husband. He is apparently in Great Britain.
The scene outside 191 Orchard Street this afternoon. Photo by thelodownny.com
Here’s what we know at this point about what happened inside a Lower East Side apartment building this morning. A 29-year old woman was found around 10 a.m. in a pool of blood at 191 Orchard Street – at the foot of the stairwell on the first floor. She had knife woulds to the neck and had fallen down at least one flight of stairs. The victim was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital, but doctors could not save her.
This afternoon, we’re told, the Medical Examiner is trying to determine whether she died from injuries suffered during the fall or from the knife wounds. A “law enforcement official with knowledge of the case” told the Wall Street Journal that the woman was staying in the apartment building temporarily and was estranged from her husband. According to the Journal’s source, “the woman’s roommate told investigators he had spoken to the woman Monday morning by phone while he was at work and that she had sounded distraught.”