Daniel Auster, a Brooklyn man charged with the death of his 10-month-old daughter from exposure to heroin and fentanyl, died Tuesday after being taken off a ventilator for a drug overdose, two law enforcement officers said.
Auster, 44, had been arraigned on April 17 on charges of manslaughter, wrongful death and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of his daughter Ruby in November.
After being released on bail three days later, he was found unconscious in a Clinton Hill subway station and taken to the Brooklyn Hospital Center, police said. A law enforcement official said he had been taken off a ventilator on Tuesday and the overdose appeared to have been accidental.
Mr. Auster is the son of authors Paul Auster, who did not respond by phone Thursday morning, and Lydia Davis, who could not be reached.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office confirmed it had been notified of the younger Mr. Auster’s death. The medical examiner said the cause of death and manner of death had not yet been determined.
Ruby’s mother, Zuzan Smith, had said in a statement that she left the child in the care of her husband, Mr. Auster, while she went to work on Nov. 1. Ruby was “awake and alert” and in good health when Mrs. Smith left their apartment in Park Slope, she said.
Mr Auster said in the statement that after she left, he injected heroin and took a nap with Ruby in the bed next to him, and when he woke up she was “blue, lifeless and unresponsive”.
He attempted to administer Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdose, to resuscitate her, then called 911. Ruby was taken to NewYork Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The coroner determined that Ruby’s cause of death was an acute intoxication of heroin and fentanyl.
John Godfrey, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society who defended Mr Auster during the arraignment, did not return a call this week.
He had previously said that Mr. Auster had recently been sober and on a drug treatment program, and that he had turned himself in to the police.
Mr. Auster was associated with an infamous murder case in the late 1990s in which a nightlife promoter, Michael Alig, and an accomplice murdered and dismembered a drug dealer, Andre Melendez, aka Angel, and dismembered his body in the Hudson River. threw.
Mr. Auster was not involved in the murder, but he pleaded guilty in 1998 to possession of $3,000 stolen from Mr. Melendez, and was sentenced to probation.
Mr Alig died of a heroin overdose in 2020.