Shady-Seeming Death of French Academic Was Due to Natural Causes

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Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP

Richard Descoings, director of the top-tier Paris Institute of Political Studies, was found dead in a Manhattan hotel room last month, naked and suspiciously missing some things, but an autopsy has concluded that he had a heart attack. When the 53-year-old's body was found, detectives were reportedly not ruling out homicide and sought to question two men who visited Descoings's room at the Michelangelo Hotel just before his death. The academic's laptop and cell phone were also found on a balcony four floors below his room, but the medical examiner's office said today that nothing more nefarious than heart disease was to blame.