French police are searching for a British businessman after his girlfriend was found battered to death in their suite at Paris's famous Hotel Bristol.
Ian Griffin, 39, from the London area, was said to have fled the hotel in a Porsche 911 after the naked body of his 36-year-old partner, Kinga Legg, was found in the bath.
Ms Legg, a Polish businessswoman who runs a company exporting tomatoes, is said to have checked into the hotel on Monday evening before being joined by Mr Griffin, who had flown from Britain, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Her body was discovered by a cleaner on Tuesday evening. Police officers said she had been beaten repeatedly with a blunt object and that a fight had taken place. Furniture, including a television, in the hotel room, which costs £1,000 a night, had been smashed to pieces. Sources said that the pair had consumed "copious" amounts of alcohol, including champagne, before the incident.
"The autopsy showed that she died of blows to the body. There was no weapon used except for bits of furniture and fists," said a Brigade Criminelle spokesman.
A post-mortem was due to take place on Ms Legg's body last night. The room where she died was sealed off, with police officers standing guard outside.
The Hotel Bristol is one of Paris's most exclusive hotels and is regularly used by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy who has hosted guests including Tony and Cherie Blair.
Hollywood celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Pamela Anderson and George Clooney have been spotted there. Famous guests have included Harry Truman, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe.