Editor’s note: After this article was published, a city medical examiner autopsy found the victim died from an accidental fall.
A former tabloid editor died mysteriously on Saturday, hours after she was found lying on the floor of her posh Brooklyn brownstone, her head gushing blood, cops said.
Neighbors found the mortally injured Elizabeth Ann Borst, 55, on the kitchen floor of her tony Clinton St. home in Cobble Hill about 10:30 p.m. Friday, according to police. A massive wound to Borst’s head was spewing blood — but the ex-New York Post editor was still alive.
An autopsy was inconclusive, officials said Sunday. The city medical examiner will conduct further tests to determine how the former letters editor died.
Borst’s actor husband, Gaetano Lisco, had called neighbors and a deli clerk and asked them to check on her when he couldn’t reach her.
“She was very bloody,” said the clerk, who works at a bodega near the couple’s home and would only give his name as Valentino. He said Lisco “was worried. I did a favor.”
Another neighbor who was also there when Borst was found unconscious said the experience left her deeply rattled.
“I was there,” said Maureen O’Connor, who lives in the couple’s building and knew Borst well. “What do you think it would be like if you walked into someone’s apartment and you found her dead? She was a friend of mine. It was very upsetting.”
Emergency workers rushed Borst to Long Island College Hospital — but she could not be saved.
Cops were investigating whether Borst had been murdered. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy Sunday to determine a cause of death.
“Right now, it’s 50/50,” a source said.
Cops grilled Lisco, 51, for several hours Saturday.
On his way into the 76th Precinct stationhouse, Lisco, wearing a robe and slippers, looked downcast and refused to answer questions.
He emerged hours later, barked at a group of reporters and photographers — and then weepily flashed a graphic cell phone photo showing his bloody wife.
“This is a private matter,” Lisco said.
Lisco described Borst, who he said had worked at the Post during the 1990s, as sickly.
“She was suffering from different syndromes,” Lisco said. “She was weak the past two weeks.”
Lisco said the front door of their apartment was left unlocked so neighbors could keep tabs on his wife.
He added that he was working Friday night and he reached out to the bodega clerk after Borst failed to answer his calls.
Neighbors in the couple’s building said they heard no sounds of struggle and saw nothing unusual around Borst’s apartment on the night she died.
“I was just sitting watching television when police came to take her out,” said Lynn Miner, who lives upstairs from Borst’s apartment. “I had no idea what happened.”
Police said the couple had no history of domestic abuse.
Borst identified herself as the former editor of the Letters to the Editor section of the New York Post on her Facebook page.
Her profile also said she wrote travel articles and loved cats. Online photos show exotic trips she took, including a visit to Lisco’s hometown of Bari, Italy.
Lisco, who emigrated to New York from Italy in the 1990s to pursue an acting career, has appeared in numerous stage productions and Italian TV shows.
A biography from Lisco’s website says he studied in an acting class with Shelley Winters and appeared in the 1995 film “Tarantella” with Mira Sorvino.
The couple apparently split time between their Cobble Hill brownstone and a penthouse apartment in Miami Beach they bought in 2002 for $565,000.
With Rich Schapiro
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KERRY WILLS, SHANE DIXON KAVANAUGH, BEN CHAPMAN