Housekeeper chief charged in hotel murder

September 21, 2009 4:56:48 AM PDT
A housekeeping manager at a luxury Manhattan hotel is charged with killing a woman who was strangled and had a kitchen knife stuck in her neck. Longtime hotel employee Derrick Praileu was held without bail following his arraignment Sunday on a second-degree murder charge.

His lawyer, Richard Siracusa, declined to comment.

A maid found the body of Andree Bejjani on Saturday in a condo at the Jumeriah Essex House. The art deco tower is near Central Park, Broadway and upscale Fifth Avenue shops.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says it doesn't appear the two had a "previous relationship."

The hotel issued a statement offering condolences to the victim's family.

Police said Bejjani worked in real estate investment and had lived in Dubai. She leased the condo and had been there since August.

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