ABC News executive producer Dax Tejera died from choking, not a heart attack, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner concluded.
Tejera, 37, died on Dec. 23 from “asphyxia due to obstruction of airway by food bolus complicating acute alcohol intoxication,” a spokesperson for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner said in a statement Thursday.
His death was ruled as an accident.
ABC News President Kim Godwin initially reported in a note sent to staff on Dec. 24 that Tejera died “suddenly of a heart attack.”
Last month, Tejera’s wife Veronica Tejera was arrested for leaving the couple’s kids “unattended” at a hotel on the evening of his death. She was charged with two counts of “acting in a manner injurious to a child.”
At around 11 p.m. on Dec. 23, New York City police responded to a 911 call regarding “unattended children inside of 50 Vanderbilt Avenue,” a spokesperson from NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner Public Information office said in a statement. The address corresponds with members-only hotel The Yale Club.
Dax Tejera’s wife faces charges for leaving kids unattended the night the ABC producer died
During a preliminary investigation, police found a 2-year-old girl and a 5-month-old girl “were left alone inside of a hotel room for an extended period of time.” The exact time period is unclear.
The mother of two told Entertainment Tonight and the New York Post in a statement on Jan. 2 that she made a “poor decision” to leave her children alone.
“When Dax collapsed on December 23rd, I accompanied him in an ambulance to the hospital. I asked both a close friend and my parents to rush to my children’s hotel room to attend to them as I monitored them by camera,” she said. “The hotel would not allow my friend in and instead called the NYPD.”
Veronica Tejera added, “We had two cameras trained on my children as they slept, and I monitored them closely in the time I was away from them. While the girls were unharmed, I realize that it was a poor decision.”