Missouri prosecutors have charged a 44-year-old Dallas woman with manslaughter, accusing her of recklessly causing a woman's death in July by performing an illegal cosmetic butt injection on her.
St. Louis County prosecutors charged Nitica Deonte Lee with first-degree involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday, saying she injected a silicone substance into 22-year-old Daysha Phillips' buttocks in a hotel in Edmundson, a suburb that abuts St. Louis' main airport.
Phillips, who was from nearby Florissant, died four days later of a silicone pulmonary embolism, which generally is a block clot that makes its way to the lungs and blocks a blood vessel, according to investigators. They say Phillips had trouble breathing after the procedure and relatives rushed her to the hospital, but her condition quickly worsened and she was taken off life support July 30.
A judge set Lee's bond at $200,000 cash on the manslaughter count, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Online court records didn't show whether she had an attorney as of Wednesday.
Butt augmentation, which averages roughly $4,000 when done legally, typically involves using implants, sculpting by using fat from elsewhere in the patient's body, or a combination of both, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
Deaths from such illegal procedures have been cropping up across the country.
In Dallas, a 34-year-old woman died in February from what authorities said was a blocked lung artery linked to illegal silicone injections meant to expand her butt. Two salon workers were charged with murder.
Prosecutors in North Carolina charged a man with second-degree murder in January in connection with a butt injection that led to a woman's death in March 2014. The man, Vinnie Taylor, also was indicted on federal charges alleging he sold and injected food grade liquid silicone into people. Prosecutors allege he injected seven women with silicone between September 2013 and September 2014.
In June, a former Philadelphia madam who performed illegal "body sculpting" was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison in the death of a dancer whose heart stopped after nearly half a gallon of silicone was injected into her buttocks. She testified that her clients called her "the Michelangelo of buttocks injections," but prosecutors said she had no medical training and used deadly products on vulnerable women, including fellow members of the transgender community who wanted curves.