A BOTCHED autoerotic episode - not foul play - was what led to the bizarre death of Peter Stelzenmuller in the summer, police said yesterday.

The Drexel Hill man was found dead Aug. 18 in his attic near a scuba suit and a mask.

Stelzenmuller, 49, an engineer, reportedly shared his home, on Hillcrest Road near Irvington, with Edythe Maa, 29, a former dominatrix known as "Mistress Jade Vixen," who dropped out of grad school at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 2008, Maa has been involved in a series of strange and deadly incidents involving her former clients.

She reportedly was listed as a close friend of Stelzenmuller's on a program at his funeral, and was questioned by police after his death.

Investigators found his death to be accidental, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, although the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office has yet to release the autopsy report.

Maa, a fixture in the S&M scene who is now a fetish model, is not considered a suspect in Stelzenmuller's death.

However, when cops arrived at his house, they said the latex suit wasn't the only kink in the story.

"The crime scene had been contaminated by the time we got there," Chitwood said.

Maa had cut Stelzenmuller's body out of the skintight suit, took off the mask - which Chitwood said resembled a gas mask - and left it lying next to his body.

"What they do is they snort nitrous oxide to get high and they have their sexual pleasure," Chitwood said, referring to the chemical compound more commonly known as laughing gas.

"We found nitrous-oxide canisters all over the place - boxes of it," he said.

There were no signs of a struggle, and investigators did not find any illicit substances in Stelzenmuller's system, Chitwood said.

Maa first made news in 2008, when David Krieg, an obsessed former client, fatally shot her boyfriend, Anthony Ottaviano - a New York attorney.

After killing Ottaviano in North Philadelphia, Krieg kidnapped Maa from her apartment and released her in West Chester.

Krieg was involved in a nine-hour standoff with police before he fatally shot himself.