Lhe son of acclaimed American novelist Paul Auster has been charged with negligent manslaughter after the overdose death of his 10-month-old daughter, New York police said on Sunday. Daniel Auster, 44, was caring for his daughter Ruby on the 1er November at his Brooklyn home when the baby was found unconscious. She was rushed to hospital where she died.
The chief medical examiner’s office concluded that the death was due to “acute poisoning due to the combined effects of fentanyl and heroin”, police told Agence France-Presse. “The incident has been ruled a homicide” after consultation with the district attorney’s office, police added, adding that Daniel Auster had been arrested and charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
A precedent in a drug case
According to local media in New York, he was arrested on Friday evening. Daniel Auster had already had trouble with the police in 1996 when André “Angel” Melendez, a suspected drug trafficker, was murdered. The writer’s son was not involved in the crime. He had pleaded guilty to possession of $3,000 that was stolen from Melendez, and sentenced to probation.
Two other people had pleaded guilty to Melendez’s murder, and confessed to dumping his body in the Hudson River. Paul Auster is one of New York’s most renowned writers, author notably of the New York Trilogy, Moon Palace and Leviathan. In his novel The Night of the Oraclepublished in 2003, the narrator is a writer whose son is a drug addict.