The prominent Manhattan chef whose body was discovered in a Queens motel last month died after overdosing on a combination of cocaine, GHB, and alcohol, the city's medical examiner said on Friday.
Andrea Zamperoni, 33, served as head chef at the Cipriani Dolci's famed Grand Central outpost, until his disappearance on August 17th. Police later discovered his body at Kamway Lodge & Tavern in Elmhurst, reportedly sticking out of a trash can next to an electric saw and an empty suitcase.
Angelina Barini, a 41-year-old sex worker, was arrested in connection with the death—as well as the fatal overdoses of two other men earlier this summer. According to a federal complaint, Barini and her pimp would drug their victims, with the intention of robbing them.
Video shows Barini entering the room with Zamperoni on August 18th, then leaving alone several hours later, prosecutors said. She told cops that "her pimp made her do it and it was not her,” court documents allege.
The medical examiner labeled the death an "accident."
A second alleged victim, Jean-Alessandro Silvero, died of fentanyl intoxication at a Woodside motel in July. The identity of the third victim has not been released.
Barini was charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and has been locked up since.
On Friday, Barini pleaded not guilty in a Brooklyn federal court to drugging John Doe No. 1—believed to be Silvero. Law enforcement sources previously told the Post Barini was being investigated in relation to two other overdose deaths as well.
“What we do know is there’s a history here with Angelina,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said earlier this month. “We believe she is going to locations with men and stealing property after they pass out.”
Following Zamperoni's death, Cipriani released a statement describing the chef as "a responsible, good-hearted, kind and very hard-working individual who will be deeply missed by all of us."