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New tests after French academic Descoings found dead in NY

Michelangelo Hotel, Manhattan, 4 April 2012
Image caption Richard Descoings was found in a room at the Michelangelo hotel

New tests have been ordered on the body of a French academic who was found dead in a New York hotel.

The naked body of Richard Descoings, the head of one of France's most prestigious academic institutions, was discovered at the Michelangelo hotel.

His laptop and phone were on a third-floor ledge of the Manhattan hotel.

A New York police spokesman said the initial post-mortem on his body was inconclusive, and toxicology and tissue tests will now be carried out.

A police spokesperson has said that as yet there is no evidence a crime was committed.

Mr Descoings, 53, had been the director of the Sciences Po institute, one of France's elite "grandes ecoles", since 1996.

Colleagues raised the alarm on Tuesday morning when he failed to appear at a UN-sponsored conference of university heads he had travelled to New York to attend.

The police spokesman, Paul Browne, said there were no signs of trauma.

He said the disorderly state of the academic's room at the time of the discovery was the result of attempts by medical staff to resuscitate him.

Deputy Commissioner Browne told the Associated Press that the mobile phone and laptop probably had been thrown out of the window and had landed on the lower ledge.

Richard Descoings was known for carrying out a programme of far-reaching reform at Sciences Po, which educates much of the French political, media and administrative elite.

He also improved access for students from less privileged backgrounds.

In a statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to Mr Descoings' career, saying he had devoted his life to education.

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