A 1-year-old boy has died and three other children were admitted to the hospital following suspected opioid exposure at a Bronx home-based daycare on Friday, September 15th.
In a press conference on Saturday, authorities said one of the three children hospitalized is critically ill.
On Friday afternoon, the NYPD received a distressing 911 call reporting three unconscious children at the daycare.
Upon arrival, officers found two boys, aged 1 and 2, and an 8-month-old girl, all unresponsive and displaying opioid exposure symptoms.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny highlighted the seriousness of the situation, stating, “All three children were unresponsive and demonstrating symptoms of opioid exposure. Narcan was administered to all three of these children in an attempt to save their lives.”
Another toddler, who left the daycare earlier, was later found unresponsive by his mother and was fortunately revived at a hospital using the opioid-reversal medication Narcan.
Authorities identified the deceased boy as Nicholas Dominici.
Dominici’s father, Otoniel Feliz, shared the child’s brief journey at the daycare, saying, “We had one week of going there. It was a peaceful place. Everything seemed fine. We expected that we were taking our son to a place where he would be taken care of, not to the funeral home.”
As the investigation deepened, a search at the Divino Nino Day Care uncovered a kilo press, a tool often used in drug packaging by dealers.
Reports indicate that the daycare’s owner might have rented a part of the facility to an unknown individual.
The daycare, catering to children between 6 weeks and 12 years, opened in January and passed an inspection by city officials just a week prior without any recorded violations, according to police reports.
Mayor Eric Adams, speaking about the severity of the incident, stated, “This crisis is real and serves as a wake-up call for individuals who have opioids or fentanyl in their homes.”
Adams added, “Our hearts break for these families that are involved.”
The woman overseeing the daycare and another unidentified man are under police scrutiny, with impending charges anticipated.
To further understand the nature of the drug exposure, the city’s medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on the deceased child, and tests will be run on the survivors.
The NYPD emphasizes that this is an ongoing criminal investigation.
In a press conference, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said, “We should not be here. These children do not deserve this, so please pray for them and their families.”