Daniel Auster, a Brooklyn man who had been charged in the death of his 10-month-old daughter from heroin and fentanyl exposure, died after being taken off life support on Tuesday following a drug overdose, two law enforcement officials said.
Mr. Auster, 44, had been arraigned on April 17 on charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of his daughter Ruby in November.
After his release on bail three days later, he was found unconscious in a Clinton Hill subway station and taken to Brooklyn Hospital Center, the police said. A law enforcement official said that he was taken off life support on Tuesday and that the overdose appeared to have been accidental.
Mr. Auster is the son of the writers Paul Auster, who declined to comment when reached by phone on Thursday morning, and Lydia Davis, who could not be reached.
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office confirmed that it had been informed of the younger Mr. Auster’s death.
Ruby’s mother, Zuzan Smith, had said in a deposition that she had left the infant 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 Ms. Smith left their Park Slope apartment, she said.
Mr. Auster said in the deposition that after she left, he injected heroin and took a nap with Ruby in the bed next to him, and that when he woke up, she was “blue, lifeless and unresponsive.”
He tried to administer Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses, to revive her and then called 911, according to the deposition. Ruby was taken to NewYork Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The city’s medical examiner determined that the cause of death was acute intoxication of heroin and fentanyl.
John Godfrey, a lawyer for Legal Aid Society, which provided Mr. Auster’s defense at arraignment, did not return a call this week.
He had said previously that Mr. Auster had recently been sober and had attended a drug-counseling program, and that he had turned himself in to the police.
Mr. Auster was linked to a notorious murder case in the late 1990s in which a nightlife promoter, Michael Alig, and an accomplice and dismembered a drug dealer killed Andre Melendez, also known as Angel, and threw his body into the Hudson River.
Mr. Auster was not implicated in the killing, but he pleaded guilty in 1998 to possessing $3,000 that had been stolen from Mr. Melendez, and was awarded to probation.
Mr. Alig died in 2020 of a heroin overdose.