A 1-year-old boy died and three other children were hospitalized after apparently “coming into contact with an opioid” Friday at an in-home daycare in the Bronx, the New York Police Department said.
The deceased boy was identified by authorities as Nicholas Dominici.
One of the three children hospitalized is in critical condition, authorities said at a press conference Saturday morning.
Police said they received a 911 call from a daycare reporting three unconscious children shortly before 3 p.m. Friday. When police responded, they found two boys, ages 1 and 2, and an 8-month-old girl, all unconscious, according to the New York Police Department.
Investigators revealed the children appeared to have been exposed Friday to unknown opioids over an extended period of time.
A 2-year-old boy who returned home around 12:15 p.m. was later discovered by his mother to be “lethargic and unresponsive,” police said. The mother rushed him to the hospital, where the anti-opioid drug Narcan saved his life.
The children staying at the daycare ate something around 1 p.m. and took a nap. When workers went to wake them up at 2:30 p.m., three of them were unconscious, police said.
“All three children were unresponsive and had symptoms of opioid exposure. Narcan was administered to all three children in an attempt to save their lives,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny.
The hospitalized children all live nearby in the Bronx. None are related.
New York police said they executed a search warrant at the Divino Nino daycare and discovered a pound press, an item commonly used by drug dealers to package large quantities of drugs.
ABC News could not immediately reach the daycare for comment.
“This crisis is real and a real wake-up call for people who have opioids or fentanyl in their homes,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference. “We are heartbroken for these families involved.”
The daycare, intended for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, recently opened its doors in January and just passed a surprise visit from city inspectors last week with no violations found, according to police.
Two people — the woman who ran the daycare at the time of the tragedy and an unidentified man — are being questioned by detectives, and charges are expected to be filed against them, police said.
The city medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine Dominici’s cause of death, and doctors will collect urine and blood from the surviving children to try to determine what drugs they were exposed to, police said. .
“Mere contact is deadly to an adult and extremely deadly to a child,” Adams said.
NYPD officials said this is an active criminal investigation.
“We shouldn’t be here. These kids don’t deserve this, so pray for them and their families,” New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban said at a news conference.