Luxury Condo Housekeeper Held in Slaying of Naked Exec

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 9:31 AM CDT
A general view in front of South Gate at Jumeirah Essex House during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at Essex House on April 22, 2009 in New York City, New York.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The housekeeping manager of New York’s swanky Essex House has been charged with the murder of a Lebanese investment executive who was subletting an apartment in the $7,000+-a-month building, police sources tell the Daily News. Cops say Derrick Praileau, 29, entered Andree Bejjani's room early Saturday and attempted to rape her—then stabbed and strangled her when she fought back. Praileau confessed to the murder, a prosecutor says.

Police say Praileau, who has worked in the building since age 17 and has two children, stabbed Bejjani in the neck with a 10-inch knife and left her for dead, returning hours later to clean up the scene. Bejjani, 44, founded a Dubai investment firm and was hired as a vice president of The Carlton Group in 2008. She did not know Praileau, but cops say he had eyed her for weeks.