Man arrested over beating death at Lil' Kim party

NEW YORK Thu Aug 7, 2008 5:33pm EDT

1 of 4. A crowd gathers outside a club in Times Square where the body of a woman who attended a birthday party for the rapper Lil' Kim was found, in New York August 6, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City nightclub worker has confessed to beating a woman to death during a Sunday night birthday celebration for rapper Lil' Kim, the police commissioner said.

Rahman Syed, 24, was arrested at his home on Thursday after the body of Ingrid Rivera, also 24, was found stuffed in a rooftop utility room on Wednesday afternoon.

No charges have been laid but Syed, a bartender's assistant at the Spotlight Live club in Times Square, admitted killing Rivera, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Rivera was last seen at Spotlight Live, where bouncers kicked her out because she was drunk. Police said that was when Rivera met Syed, who offered to take her to find a friend.

Syed hit Rivera with a metal pipe in the building's elevator shed in the early hours of Monday after she refused his advances, police said.

When Rivera did not come home, her family filed a missing persons report. Police were unable to find the woman, despite searching the club, until a maintenance man discovered her body in the rooftop room more than two days after her death.

Spotlight Live representatives did not return calls for comment.

"We will be taking a very focused look at that club," said Kelly. "These are advertised events. It was not a private party."

Kelly estimated about 500 people were at the club at the time of Rivera's death.

Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, celebrated her 34th birthday with fellow celebrities including Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes, Lamar Odom and Wyclef Jean, according to the New York Daily News.

Kelly said the Grammy Award-winning rapper will not be interviewed in connection with the crime. Lil' Kim's publicist was not immediately available to comment on the woman's death.

Lil' Kim served a year and a day in prison in 2005 when she was found guilty of conspiracy and perjury after lying to a grand jury about her friends' involvement in a 2001 shooting.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan; editing by Michelle Nichols and John O'Callaghan)

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