A male model who had recently been a contestant on a Portuguese reality TV show was taken into police custody hours after his companion, a celebrity Portuguese television journalist, was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel.
The journalist, 65-year-old Carlos Castro, had arrived in the US in late December in the company of his young boyfriend, the model Renato Seabra, to see some Broadway shows and spend New Year's Eve in Times Square, according to a family friend.
There had been some friction between the two men towards the end of the trip, but nothing to suggest that anything horrible was about to happen, said the friend, Luis Pires, the editor of the Portuguese language newspaper Luso-Americano.
The couple had been due to meet Mr Pires's daughter for dinner on Friday night, but Seabra suddenly emerged in the lobby of the InterContinental New York Times Square hotel acting strangely, Mr Pires said.
"He told my daughter, 'Carlos will never leave the hotel again'," Mr Pires said.
He said his daughter, distraught, fetched a hotel manager. Security guards opened the door to the room and found the body at about 7pm. By then, Seabra had left the hotel but was detained by police hours later after he sought care at St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, not far from the hotel. Police said the victim suffered serious head trauma.
Seabra was a contestant last year on a Portuguese TV show called A Procura Do Sonho, or Pursuit Of A Dream, which hunts for modelling talent.
He did not win the show but did get a modelling contract with an agency founded by fashion designer Fatima Lopes, who developed the show and was a judge on it.
Ms Lopes expressed her shock to Portugal's Correio da Manha newspaper, saying: "He never talked about his private life, he was a quiet boy and perhaps the shyest of all contestants. He was very calm and polite. This whole thing seems surreal to me."
A guest at the InterContinental, Suzanne Divilly, 40, told the Daily News she heard the two men arguing in their room during the day on Friday. "There was a lot of noise, talking," she said. "You could hear them arguing in the corridor and even in our room."