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Suicide not ruled out in Nicaraguan diplomat's death

From Marcia Biggs and Susan Candiotti, CNN
Cesar Mercado was found slain Thursday in his New York apartment.
Cesar Mercado was found slain Thursday in his New York apartment.
  • NEW: Investigator's find diplomat's Blackberry
  • 'There is a lot of blood,' police say
  • Cesar Mercado's throat was slashed
  • Police say there is no evidence of robbery

New York (CNN) -- Investigators have not ruled out suicide in the death of a Nicaraguan diplomat found with his throat slashed in his New York apartment.

Cesar Mercado, the consul of Nicaragua in New York, also suffered 12 stab wounds in the stomach, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.

Police found a 12-inch steak knife beside a blood-filled bathroom sink and a second knife -- a 4- to 6-inch paring knife -- in the sink.

Kelly described a "hesitation wound" in Mercado's neck, one that was not delivered in a single motion. That indicates the wound could have been self-inflicted, Kelly told reporters.

Video: NYPD: Diplomat found dead, throat slashed

"The medical examiner has not determined whether or not this was a homicide," he said. "If in fact there is a wound from an assailant, it is generally more direct and in one motion."

"There is a lot of blood in the apartment," he said, adding that police are analyzing fingerprints found in the blood.

He said the autopsy on Mercado is complete and human hair was found in both of his hands -- 10 strands in the right hand and five in the left. It's not yet known whose hair it was.

Police have found no evidence of forced entry or robbery. Security video cameras in the building were not working, Kelly said.

Mercado, 34, was last seen alive Wednesday.

His body was found just inside the door of a small, sixth-floor studio apartment in the Bronx on Thursday morning by a driver who had taken him to the United Nations the day before, Kelly said.

"He normally takes the subway to work," he said. "The day before he was driven by his driver since he was going to the United Nations. Apparently, he normally leaves for work around 7:30, shows up around 9 o'clock. He did not show up for work. The driver then goes to the residence to look for him."

The door was closed, but unlocked. The driver opened the door, saw the body, stepped out and called 911. Mercado was clothed but not wearing any shoes, Kelly said.

The commissioner also said that investigators had recovered a Blackberry that belonged to Mercado.

Asked about reports that Mercado had recently talked about dying, Kelly said police are interviewing friends and family.

Mercado had lived in the United States for eight years and had been consul the entire time, said Danilo Rosales Diaz, deputy permanent representative of Nicaragua to the United States.

CNN's Ross Levitt and Christina Romano contributed to this report.