A Gaithersburg, Maryland, mother has confessed to giving her 5-year-old son a lethal dose of antihistamine before setting her car on fire with him inside.
Narges Shafeirad, 35, pleaded guilty on July 28 to first-degree murder in the June 2015 death of her son, Daniel Dana, The Associated Press reports.
According to the autopsy report, Daniel died from a diphenhydramine overdose. Diphenhydramine is a common antihistamine and is found in products such as Benadryl and Unisom.
The young boy was forced by his mother to swallow medication containing the antihistamine.
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“Daniel had two-and-a-half times the concentration of diphenhydramine in his heart-blood than what would kill an adult,” Prosecutor Marybeth Ayres said in court, according to The Washington Post.
After Daniel was fatally drugged, Shafeirad tried to cover up his murder by putting his body inside her vehicle, dousing it with gasoline, and then setting it on fire. She reportedly wanted it to look like it had been involved in an accident.
When police and firefighters arrived at the scene, they found Shafeirad lying outside the car, according to the AP.
At the time of Daniel’s death, Shafeirad was going through a divorce with her husband, the boy's father, and was due in court the following day for the final hearing on the divorce and custody case, The Washington Post reports.
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“We believe that she didn’t want to give the dad what he wanted,” Ayres said.
Shafeirad faces up to 50 years in prison and will be sentenced in December.
“This was a tragedy from every angle,” Shafeirad’s attorney, Melanie Creedon, said. “She truly loved her son.”
Daniel’s death greatly affected his father, Hamid Azimi-Dana.
“Daniel was the beginning and end of his life,” said his attorney, David Gavin. “He is saddened beyond words.”