NEW YORK – A construction worker was jailed without bail Tuesday after confessing to the slaying of an actress left hanging from a shower rod in the bathroom of a Manhattan apartment.
Diego Pillco, 19, made written and videotaped statements implicating himself in the slaying of Adrienne Shelly, Assistant District Attorney Marit Delozier said Tuesday at Pillco's arraignment in state Supreme Court. Pillco was then ordered held without bail pending a Thursday hearing.
"He said he fought with the victim, tied a sheet around her neck and dragged her to the bathroom and hung her from the shower rod," Delozier said at the brief hearing. "This is an exceptionally egregious case."
Shelly, who appeared in the movie "Factotum" with Matt Dillon last year, was renovating the Greenwich Village apartment she used as her office. Pillco, one of the workers, was one of the last people seen going into the apartment, police said.
Shelly, whose birth name was Adrienne Levine, was found last Wednesday at about 6 p.m. hanging over the bathtub. Police were hesitant to label the case a suicide, observing that no note was found and sneaker prints that did not match Shelly's shoes were recovered from the bathtub.
Shelly, who was born in Queens and grew up on Long Island, was raising a 3-year-old daughter, Sophie, with her husband, Andy Ostroy. Her husband discovered the actress' body in the fourth-floor apartment, where he had dropped Shelly off hours earlier.
Shelly, 40, was best known for her roles in the Hal Hartley films "The Unbelievable Truth," in which she played Audry Hugo in 1989, and "Trust," in which she starred as Maria Coughlin in 1990.
She worked steadily during her career in film, theater and television but later turned to writing and directing, making her directorial debut with "Sudden Manhattan" in 1996. She recently wrote and directed the film "Waitress," starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion.