Alleged Sex Worker Charged With Philadelphia Doctor's Hotel Room Strangulation

A man hired by a Philadelphia doctor for sex strangled and robbed him inside a Center City hotel room, homicide detectives tell NBC10.

Manuel Baez, 27, was charged Wednesday with the murder of Dr. Howard Baker. The prominent 75-year-old psychiatrist was found dead Monday morning, sitting naked on the floor of his fifth floor hotel room at the Rodeway Inn at 1208 Walnut Street. A belt was tied tightly around his neck and his backpack and wallet were stolen, police said.

Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. James Clark tells NBC10 that Baez confessed to the crime after being taken into custody Tuesday night.

Baez was homeless and sold his body for sex, according to Clark, an act that Baker allegedly paid for Sunday evening.

Baker checked into the hotel Sunday afternoon after telling his wife he was heading out to watch the Eagles game.

Baez was one of two men caught on surveillance video visiting Baker's hotel room that night. He left the hotel alone, but with Baker's belongings, police said. The doctor's body was found the next day. The other visitor was not involved in the murder.

Investigators said Baker's family had no idea he had checked into the hotel. The married father lived in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and had practices in Center City, two blocks from the hotel, and Wynnewood.

Baker practiced psychiatry for 30 years and specialized in relationship problems, ADHD and spirituality.

An arraignment has not been set for Baez. It's not clear whether he has retained an attorney.

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