Investigators issued a search warrant at the Bergen County, N.J., home of a woman they believe organized the appointment, Philadelphia police Lt. Ray Evers said Wednesday. She was questioned and unspecified evidence was seized from the residence but she was not arrested, he said.
Evers said police believe she acted as a coordinator of buttocks and hip enlargements for the victim and another woman, communicating with them overseas by e-mail, text messages and phone calls to set up the visit - their second in recent months.
"Our information tells us these girls were here in November and did receive treatment from the same individuals," Evers said. The second woman who was being sought for questioning "was the actual person who performed the enhancements," he said.
The victim, identified by the Delaware County medical examiner as Claudia Seye Aderotimi, 20, died at a hospital Monday after suffering from chest pains and breathing trouble.
Aderotimi, who lived in London but was not a British citizen, flew from London to Philadelphia on Saturday with three other women. One friend had a similar cosmetic procedure and the other two went shopping in New York, Evers said. Police declined to release their names but said all were in their early 20s.
Aderotimi received injections only to her buttocks. The surviving woman, who was not hospitalized, received hip and buttocks injections. Evers said investigators were not sure why the women came to Philadelphia to undergo the procedures and added it was the first such case city police have come across.
"This is something that's completely unregulated," Evers said. "If nothing goes wrong, if no one dies, we're not going to find out about it."
Delaware County medical examiner Fredric Hellman said a preliminary cause of death was not being released pending further studies. It could take several weeks before toxicology test results are complete.
Authorities had not yet determined whether manslaughter or other charges may be filed in the case, Evers said. Police, the city district attorney's office, the Delaware County medical examiner and the FDA were assisting in the investigation.
In the United States, liquid silicone is avidly sought on the black market for women seeking to enhance their figures, even though it is not approved for cosmetic injections. It was not known what substance was used on the women at the hotel.
Besides liquid silicone, injections of substances including paraffin, petroleum jelly and hydrogel have been illegally used to enlarge women's breasts, hips and buttocks.
Neither the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration keep data on injuries or deaths caused by illicit cosmetic injections.
Cases in recent years of illegal cosmetic injections causing death, disfigurement and health problems have been reported from New York City to Los Angeles and beyond. Solange Magnano, a 38-year-old model and former Miss Argentina, died in Buenos Aires in 2009 from complications after having cosmetic injections on her buttocks.