According to reports, early Friday morning, a 47-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy were found dead after an apparent jump from a Manhattan building.
This is a grim story, no matter what transpired before they plummeted to their deaths below.
And now multiple news outlets believe that they have identified the woman as a former Playboy centerfold model.
First, what we know with relative certainty.
According to Lieutenant John Grimpel, a 47-year-old woman appears to have jumped from the 25th floor of the Gotham Hotel in Manhattan.
Police indicate that this occurred at around 8:15 AM on Friday morning.
Reports say that the two bodies were found on the second-floor landing of the Gotham Hotel’s courtyard.
Police were not initially willing to confirm or deny the identities of the deceased, for obvious reasons.
One, identifying them may have been challenging if normal identifiers were not available.
Two, as is always important, police needed to notify the family.
There’s no good way to learn that you have lost a loved one, but learning from the news would have to be one of the worst.
Multiple media outlets, including The New York Post and NBC News 4, are reporting that this woman was Stephanie Adams.
Stephanie Adams was a former Playboy model.
In fact, she was the November centerfold in 1992.
Which would make the 7-year-old boy Vincent, her son.
She shared Vincent with her estranged husband, Charles Nicolai, the owner of of Wall Street Chiropractic & Wellness.
Staff at that practice have declined to comment.
Reports say that Stephanie and Nicolai were engaged in a fierce court battle over custody of their son.
Things were allegedly so contentious between them that handovers of Vincent took place at a NYPD precinct, allegedly to “prevent violence” from occurring.
Stephanie filed for divorce from Nicolai in 2017, and she was currently seeking child support from him.
As is often the case during divorces, she owed money to her attorneys.
Adding to this, The New York Post reports that Stephanie had become distraught because she would not be able to take her son on a trip to Europe over the summer.
She and her estranged husband fought over this and, ultimately, a judge sided with Nicolai — and ordered Stephanie to surrender Vincent’s passport.
Stephanie Adams, who claims to be a descendant of John Quincy Adams and who entered the modeling profession at age 16, had a history of both civil rights advocacy and of troubled lawsuits.
But none of this explains what could have led her and her son to plunge to their tragic and premature deaths on Friday morning.
Our sympathies go out to their loved ones as they struggle with this loss.
We hope that investigators are able to provide answers.