The Queens sex worker charged after being found in a hostel next to the lifeless body of a prominent New York City chef last month, may be linked to many as four lethal drug overdoses, the NYPD’s top investigator said on Friday.
Angelina Barini, 41, is facing federal charges in three fatal overdoses, including that of Andrea Zamperoni, the 33-year-old head chef of Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central Station. She's also suspected in a fourth overdose death, police said.
“We believe there were at least four fatal overdoses,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said during a press conference Friday. “What we know is there was a history here with Angelina we believe, going to locations with men and stealing property after they pass out and in this particular case, there was a fatal overdose.”
As Barini was hauled into Brooklyn federal court last month, investigators laid out their suspicions that three of her clients died after being plied with a dangerous mix of drugs and booze.
The complaint describes Barini's alleged run of fatal trysts with men as culminating on Aug. 21 in Room 15 of the Kamway Lodge & Tavern in Elmhurst, New York, where Zamperoni was found.
There, the woman allegedly opened and then shut the door after police came knocking.
Through the door, the officers claimed to have heard a commotion in the room before Barini reappeared and opened it.
The officers said they got a whiff of “a strong odor consistent with the smell of a dead body and burning incense.”
They proceeded to search the room and found in the corner a garbage pail filled with bed linens and dangling from it was “a bare human foot,” according to the complaint.
The document also detailed how officers picked through a littered mess of mobile devices, shed clothing, an American Express card (with John Doe-3 –– later determined to be Zamperoni's –– name embossed on it) as well as a glass pipe, bottles of bleach, a power saw and an empty suitcase.
The chef, who was an Italian citizen, was pronounced dead at around 10 p.m. How he died remains unknown pending autopsy results, the document states.
But Barini, who was allegedly read her Miranda rights, explained to investigators that she was a sex worker who met Zamperoni who in turn “paid her money in exchange for sex.”
She claims to have innocently awoke to discover him unconscious and “bleeding from the nose.”
The woman claimed to have dialed for her pimp who, according to the documents, forbade her to “call the police.”
Instead, other associates of her boss “came to the room to discuss whether to cut up the body,” the complaint notes.
At first, the papers say, Barini denied that she or her pimp gave drugs to Zamperoni. But she later admitted to authorities that her pimp “gave the male liquid ecstasy.”
Barini also allegedly told investigators, according to the document, that “she would sometimes give clients drugs” doled out by her pimp’s supplier, described as “Co-conspirator-2.”
Barini has been linked to “at least three clients” and there could be more.
“We also have a number of cases where men, in this case men and women, have taken drugs and fatally passed away," NYPD's Shea said. “The [Barini] indictment references three and it is an ongoing investigation.
“We believe there are more than three.”
Barini’s defense attorney refused to comment on the the latest allegations when reached by Oxygen.com.
The complaint suggests Barini and other “conspirators” concocted a scheme to service “multiple clients” with drugs and then sometimes prey on them for valuables.
The accused and her alleged cohorts have “occasionally taken property of the victims once they are drugged and incapacitated,” the complaint alleges.
The document lays out multiple overdoses on three separate dates where men were discovered deceased as a result of “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl.”
Investigators allege Barini was seen exiting an Astoria, Queens hotel at 9:30 a.m. on Independence Day. Two hours later, the complaint states that John Doe-1 was pronounced dead in what the coroner would later determine to be acute intoxication.
On July 11, Barini was again pinpointed on surveillance footage leaving a Woodside motel where John Doe-2 was confirmed to have died due to “fentanyl intoxication,” according to the complaint.
Barini is awaiting trial.
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