On June 16 at approximately 3:38 a.m, 6th District officers and Fire/Rescue personnel responded to the area of 10098 Fields Road, near Sam Eig Highway for a vehicle fire. Upon arrival Fire/Rescue personnel observed smoke and flames emanating from the inside of a white 1993 Toyota Corolla that was resting on the westbound side of Sam Eig Highway. Paramedics approached the vehicle and observed the driver, later identified as Narges Shafeirad, face down outside the driver’s side of the vehicle. She was screaming in pain. Paramedics began to extinguish the fire and noticed a small child, later identified as Daniel Dana, on the rear floorboard of the vehicle. Due to the flames, first responders were unable to remove Daniel Dana from the vehicle. He was later pronounced deceased.
Shafeirad was transported to a hospital for 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 40% of her body. The Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) and Fire Marshals responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.
Over the next few hours the investigators determined that the fire did not start outside of the passenger compartment, but instead started in the front-seat area. During the investigation, the investigators ruled out any mechanical malfunction, including the fuel lines and fuel tank. Fire Marshal Investigators detected a strong odor, similar to gasoline, in and around the white 1993 Toyota Corolla. Fire Marshall’s determined that the fire originated in the passenger compartment of the white Toyota and believe that the fire was intentionally started using an accelerant. due to these suspicious circumstances, the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division began to lead the investigation.
Detectives continued the investigation through interviews, search warrants, document and forensic analysis. An autopsy was completed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) on June 17. On July 28 the OCME ruled that Daniel Dana’s cause of death was Diphenhydramine intoxication and the manner of death was ruled a homicide. Diphenhydramine is a common ingredient in over-the-counter medications.
Major Crimes detectives have determined that Narges Shafeirad intentionally gave her son, Daniel Dana, an amount of Diphenhydramine that would cause his death. Shafeirad then intentionally set fire to the vehicle. Investigators applied for and were issued an arrest warrant charging Shafeirad with 1st degree murder and arson in the first degree. On July 30 Major Crimes detectives, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, served Shafeirad with the warrant. Shafeirad will be transported to a detention center in the near future for processing.
The Major Crimes Division thanks the following units for their assistance in this investigation: the Collision Reconstruction Unit, Montgomery County Fire Rescue, Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Laboratory
Original Press Releases from June 16 and June 17: