How Did Daniel Auster Die? Novelist Paul Auster's Son Dies of Drug Overdose While Awaiting Trial for Daughter's Murder

According to the New York Post, Auster was found with drug paraphernalia around him, and the dosage was similar to what he normally consumed.

Novelist Paul Auster's troubled son Daniel Auster was found dead of a drug overdose on Wednesday, nine days after he was arrested for manslaughter of his 10-month-old daughter Ruby. Daniel Auster, 44, was out on bail after his arrest for the November 1 death of Ruby from a drug overdose.

According to the New York Post, Auster was found with drug paraphernalia around him, and the dosage was similar to what he normally consumed. This suggests that Auster's death was accidental. Ruby also died from acute intoxication caused by fentanyl and heroin, and the Kings County District Attorney's Office was treating her death as a homicide.

Sudden Death

Daniel Auster with daughter Ruby
Daniel Auster with daughter Ruby Twitter

Auster's death comes as a shock to many given the similarities in his and daughter Ruby's death. According to law enforcement authorities, Auster died of an accidental drug overdose. The overdose was unintentional because he had drugs on him and the dose was similar to what he would typically take, a source said.

According to a person familiar with Auster, he was out on bail and facing manslaughter charges coming from the murder of his 10-month-old daughter, Ruby, on Nov. 1. He was arrested on Easter Sunday or April 15, and had admitted to giving his daughter drugs that resulted in an overdose that killed her.

Daniel Auster
Daniel Auster Twitter

An investigation has been launched into Auster's death. Although it initially looks like an overdose, there are chances that it Auster committed suicide.

Following his arrest, Auster admitted that on the afternoon of November 1, he was babysitting his 10-month-old daughter Ruby when paramedics arrived at his Brooklyn home after receiving a 911 call and discovered the newborn unconscious and lifeless.

Troubled Life

At his arraignment hearing on manslaughter charges, Assistant District Attorney Tien Tran delivered the graphic description allegedly given to the NYPD by Auster. Zuzan Smith, the child's mother, told authorities that their daughter was awake and conscious when she left her in the hands of Auster and went to work.

Daniel Auster with Ruby
Daniel Auster with Ruby Twitter

When he woke up from his nap, she was "blue, lifeless and unresponsive", the complaint states. After finding her unconscious, she was taken to Methodist Hospital and pronounced dead there. Authorities claimed Ruby died of a fentanyl and heroin overdose, according to an autopsy.

The prosecutor said that the girl had enough drugs in her system to "render an adult unconscious."

According to a criminal complaint obtained by, Auster told police that he took heroin immediately after Smith left their home and then went to bed for a nap with the child by his side.

Paul Auster
Paul Auster Twitter

Auster had a troubled past and had been charged several times for drug possession and consumption.

According to The New Yorker, Auster began going to clubs in New York City when he was a teenager and became extensively involved with drugs. When Andre 'Angel' Melendez, a drug dealer, was murdered by 'Club Kid Killer' Michael Alig, a former nightclub producer, and his roommate, Robert Riggs, Auster was present at the apartment. He was only 18 years old at that time.

In exchange for his silence, Auster was given $3,000 of Melendez's money. He later admitted to having stolen stuff and was sentenced to five years of probation.

Daniel Auster with family
Daniel Auster with family Twitter

Auster also had a run of arrests between 2008 and 2010, including various drug possession offences. He was accused of petty larceny and possession of stolen property in 2009.

Auster played a book thief in his father Paul Auster's 1995 film 'Smoke', which featured Harvey Keitel and William Hurt and was about the lives of people who frequented a Brooklyn tobacco shop.

Daniel Auster's, father Paul Auster has won numerous international awards for his books, including "The New York Trilogy," "The Book of Illusions," and "Moon Palace." For his novel '4, 3, 2, 1', he was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2017, and his work has been translated into over forty languages.

Lydia Davis, a 74-year-old author and translator, is his mother. Davis and Paul Auster divorced in 1978, and he remarried in 1982, to novelist Siri Hustvedt, with whom he has one daughter, singer Sophie Auster, 34.