Andrew Koppel's Partner Devastated Over Death

08/03/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NEW YORK — The longtime partner of former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel's son said she was devastated when he was found dead in a woman's apartment after a day of bar hopping.

Ilona Lieberman called the death of Andrew Koppel a "devastating tragedy for our family."

"We will always remember Andrew as a generous, loving and compassionate father, partner and friend," Lieberman said in a statement read by her sister Michelle Chasnoff on Wednesday. "Our family grieves enormously."

Koppel, 40, was found early Monday after a daylong drinking binge with Russell Wimberly, a man he'd just met, police said.

Koppel, who lived in Queens, started drinking at Smith's Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan and went to several other locations with Wimberly, police said, before winding up at the Washington Heights neighborhood apartment owned by Wimberly's friend Belinda Caban.

A visibly drunken Koppel was placed in a back bedroom to sleep it off, Caban said.

Caban said she and Wimberly spoke for hours and he went in to check on Koppel and said he was snoring and had a pulse. After six hours, she told Wimberly it was time to go and for him to take Koppel home. She said they called 911 after they tried to rouse him and he wasn't moving.

An autopsy was performed Monday, but results were pending further study, including toxicology and tissue testing, medical examiner's office spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said. Additional tests were needed to determine the manner and cause of death, and they will take a few weeks to complete.

Police said there was no evidence of a crime.

Koppel was appointed attorney for the city Housing Authority's civil litigation division in 2001 and resigned the post in 2008, the agency said. In 1994, while a student at Georgetown Law School, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault for striking a U.S. Senate aide during an argument at a Capitol Hill cash machine.

Ted Koppel is the former longtime anchor of the ABC News show "Nightline," which he left in 2005. Andrew Koppel was one of his four children.