The son of novelist Paul Auster has died of a drug overdose nine days after his arrest for the manslaughter of his 10-month-old daughter Ruby.
Daniel Auster, 44, was reportedly found with drug paraphernalia and dosage normal to what he usually took, meaning that his death may have been accidental, multiple outlets reported.
Auster was arrested on Easter Sunday for the death of his daughter Ruby on November 1.
The infant allegedly died of a fentanyl overdose after her father took heroin and then took a nap beside her, The New York Post reported.
Daniel told the court his daughter died of a fentanyl overdose after he took heroin and napped with Ruby by his side. His wife was working at the time.
The girl’s mother, Zuzan Smith, told police that her daughter was alert and awake when she had left for work.
It was shortly after Smith left Ruby in her father’s care that Auster had injected heroin and got into bed to take a nap, according to a criminal complaint.
When he woke up, Ruby was “blue, lifeless and unresponsive,” read the complaint.
Prosecutors said the infant had enough drugs in her system to “render an adult unconscious.”
It’s unknown how drugs ended up in Ruby’s system but her father admitted to keeping heroin in his bathroom.
His lawyer, James Godfrey, told the New York Times that Auster was in drug treatment and had been recently sober.
“This case is painfully tragic, and Mr. Auster remains devastated over the loss of his beloved daughter Ruby,” Godfrey said.
“Substance use disorder is an issue that countless families reel from each year, and we caution the public to refrain from making any rush to judgment.”
An autopsy found that Ruby died of acute intoxication caused by the combined effects of heroin and fentanyl.
His award-winning father, Paul Auster, 75, is an author known for novels such as The New York Trilogy, The Book of Illusions, and Moon Palace.