‘Her lips were blue’: Daniel Auster’s baby daughter had ingested enough drugs to render an adult unconscious
PARK SLOPE, NEW YORK: Renowned novelist Paul Auster's son has been arrested for manslaughter in the death of his 10-month-old daughter Ruby in Park Slope, police confirmed on Saturday, April 16. Daniel Auster, 44, has now admitted that he tried to save her with Narcan before calling police. A prosecutor has said that the baby had "ingested enough heroin and fentanyl to render an adult unconscious."
Daniel was taking care of Ruby on the afternoon of November 1 when paramedics responded to a 911 call from the Brooklyn house. The NYPD said that first-responders rushed to the residence and found the baby unconscious and unresponsive. She was taken to Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. As per an autopsy, Ruby died of an overdose of fentanyl and heroin. Daniel had claimed that he fell asleep with Ruby sleeping on his chest, and woke up to find Ruby's 'lips blue and eyes stiff' and tried to save her using the opioid overdose treatment. It is unclear how Ruby ingested the drugs.
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Assistant DA Tien Tran said that Daniel claimed he had been using heroin that day and gave the infant the treatment "in case I f--ked up." Daniel has also admitted that he had "glassine packets of heroin" kept in his bathroom. He is facing charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and child endangerment in connection with Ruby's death, and is awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Daniel is the son of Paul Auster and his ex-wife, Lydia Davis. Over two decades ago, Daniel pleaded guilty to stealing $3,000 from drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez, who was later killed by his roommate, New York party promoter “Club Kid Killer” Michael Alig, in 1996. Two of Daniel's neighbors recalled how they walked by the apartment building where Ruby died and saw infant items kept outside for anyone to take, after her death. “Everything — all the baby clothes, books, toys — it was just heartbreaking,” New York Post quoted one of the residents say.
Paul Auster, who wrote books such as 'The New York Trilogy', 'The Book of Illusions', and 'Moon Palace', first married writer Lydia Davis, Daniel's mother. The pair later divorced and Auster then married Minnesota-born novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt. Siri Hustvedt is known for having written books like 'The Blindfold' and 'The Enchantment of Lily Dahl'. Her most renowned work is 2003’s 'What I Loved'.
Both Auster and Hustvedt have written fiction that was reportedly based on or were inspired by their issues with Daniel. 'What I Loved' chronicled the troubled relationship between an artist and his drug-addict son, and the son’s stepmother. The story traces how the son, named 'Mark' in the book, goes from a sweet, innocent boy to a dangerous young man who frightens his stepmom and upsets his father.
Auster also apparently wrote about a man based on Daniel in his 2004 novel named 'Oracle Night'. A writer named Trause narrates the story. Trause is reportedly an anagram of Auster, who has a son who is addicted to drugs and scares his stepmom.