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Chelsea Murder Victim's Beloved Cockatoo 'Doing Well'

By Tom Liddy | March 4, 2012 3:57pm
John Laubach
John Laubach
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MANHATTAN — As investigators try to piece together the murder mystery of a Chelsea event planner John Laubach, a beloved bird belonging to the religious man, who was studying social work, was "doing well" in the city's care, officials said.

Laubach, 57, who was discovered bound with duct tape and an electrical cord at his apartment on West 22nd Street and Seventh Avenue Friday night, was known for keeping the white cockatoo, named Bolo.

"She is currently in our care and doing well," said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the city's Animal Care & Control, which is caring for the bird. "We will hold her to see if there is a family member that is interested in taking her."

If not, the bird will go to an AC&C partner "that specializes in the care of Cockatoos," Gentles added.

A source said that Laubach, a religious man who attended services at the Church of the Ascension on West 11th Street, was in school pursuing a degree in social work.

The Baltimore, Md. native, had also worked as an event planner but suffered a stroke in recent years.

Sources said that Laubach was supposed to meet up with a friend Friday night who lives in the building. When she couldn't reach him by phone, she went to his apartment and discovered her friend's body.

According to the sources, the victim's face was covered by a towel, but there were no immediate signs of trauma.

Investigators were trying to determine if he had been robbed.

The Medical Examiner's office said Sunday that further study would be needed to determine the cause of death.

The results could take two weeks.

No arrests have been made.