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Gotham Hotel in New York City, Midtown Manhattan
Credit: Google

A 46-year-old woman identified by police as former Playboy model Stephanie Nicolai and her seven-year-old son are dead after apparently jumping out of a midtown New York City hotel.

They were pronounced dead at the scene around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Witnesses told NBC New York that Nicolai jumped but it is unclear if she was holding her son or if he jumped of his own accord. Police believe the fatal jump took place around 8:12 a.m.

Law enforcement sources told NBC New York that Nicolai, who posed in 1992 under the name Stephanie Adams, was involved in a custody battle with her husband.

Nicolai and her son had checked into the Gotham Hotel around 11 a.m. on Thursday morning. A hotel employee said they were staying in the 25th floor penthouse. Their bodies were found on the second floor balcony of the hotel Friday morning.

"It's crazy. I don't know what to say. Nothing (like this) has ever happened here," Ilir Krsniqi, a waiter at the hotel, told the New York Daily News. Krsniqi said he was sent home shortly after his shift started and that the restaurant will be closed for the remainder of the day.

The Gotham Hotel is a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan with 67 rooms.

A police investigation is ongoing.

Nearby streets (East 46th St. and Fifth Avenue) have been closed while police investigate.