The deaths of a former Playboy playmate and her 7-year-old son have been ruled a murder-suicide after the woman jumped with the boy from a New York City hotel on Friday, officials say.
A spokesperson for the city’s Chief Medical Examiner identified the victims as Stephanie and Vincent Nicolai. Earlier reports used Stephanie Nicolai’s maiden name, Adams.
The mother and child both died of multiple blunt impact injuries, with the child suffering injuries to the head, neck, torso and limbs. Stephanie’ manner of death was labeled suicide and Vincent’s was ruled a homicide.
Lieutenant John Grimpel previously told PEOPLE the woman jumped from the 25th floor of the Gotham Hotel in Manhattan with the boy around 8:15 a.m. local time. Grimpel said the pair’s bodies were found on the second-floor landing of the hotel’s courtyard.
Officials with Gotham Hotel have not responded to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
In the wake of the deaths, Raoul Felder, Stephanie’s’ longtime friend and former attorney, confirmed to PEOPLE that the model was married to Charles Nicolai, of Wall Street Chiropractic & Wellness. Staff at the practice declined to comment on the matter.
Felder told PEOPLE that the mother, 47, and Charles Nicolai were engaged in a “tough” custody battle. An attorney associated with Charles Nicolai did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
“She was a very genuine person. A lovely person and very polite. She was very considerate and sweet,” Felder, 81, said, noting that he served as Stephanie’s attorney up until four months ago. “I never saw her unhappy. Something must’ve happened in her life, and went haywire.”
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Sources say Stephanie wanted to take the boy to Europe to visit or live with her new boyfriend. A judge allegedly told Stephanie she could not take the boy outside the country without the court’s permission.
However, Felder says the judge’s decision wouldn’t have prompted Stephanie to harm herself or her son.
“When she left here she was very positive,” Felder told PEOPLE of the last time he saw her months ago. “Something must’ve taken a nosedive in her psyche.”
The Gotham Hotel, located on East 46th Street about four blocks from Grand Central Station, is a boutique hotel that traces its name to a landmark bookstore that last stood on its location prior to the hotel’s construction in 2010.
Suicide Prevention: What to Know
Experts say some common warning signs of suicide include discussing a desire to die or feeling anxious or hopeless, like a burden, or trapped or in pain; withdrawing from others; extreme mood swings, including anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little).
Many suicides have multiple causes and are not triggered by one event, according to experts, who underline that suicidal crises can be overcome with help. Where mental illness is a factor, it can be treated.
Reaching out to those in need is a simple and effective preventative measure, experts say.
If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.