Two people have been charged with multiple charges after the death of a 1-year-old boy and three other young children were hospitalized after suspected opioid exposure at a daycare in the Bronx, New York, on Friday.
Drug equipment was also found inside the daycare after the death of Nicholas Dominici and the hospitalization of three other young children, according to New York City police.
Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, and Grei Mendez, 36, now face 11 charges, including murder, manslaughter and assault.
A pound press was discovered by police executing a search warrant at 2707 Morris Avenue after Nicholas’ death, police said.
“This is an item commonly used by drug dealers to package large quantities of drugs,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said at a news conference.
It is unclear what types of drugs were potentially being manufactured or how the children came into contact with them. New York Mayor Eric Adams said only that the four children “appear to have been in contact with an opioid.”
“We don’t know exactly what happened to these babies,” said Police Commissioner Edward Caban.
New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said the victims came into contact “with a potent substance, which can, through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, intoxicate the recipient.” We don’t know what happened in this case. “.
The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death, and doctors will collect urine and blood from the surviving children to try to determine what drugs they were exposed to.
The daycare, aimed at 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, officials said.
Investigators said 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.” The mother rushed him to the hospital, where the anti-opioid drug Narcan saved his life, authorities said.
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.” Kenny said. “Two children survived. Unfortunately, a 2-year-old boy died at Montefiore Hospital at 3:29 p.m.”
All of the hospitalized children live nearby in the Bronx. None are related, authorities said.