The prominent French academic Richard Descoings who has ties to the country’s political leadership, has been found dead in a New York hotel room.
Although it is not known how he died, the city’s police are treating his death as suspicious.
Descoings, 52, was in New York to attend a conference at Columbia University but never turned up.
Detectives say medication and alcohol were discovered in his room while some of his belongings were found on a third-floor landing below his seventh-floor window.
While serving as an advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy and other political figures, Descoings was also Director of the prestigious Institute of Political Studies in Paris.