The fatal dose of fentanyl that claimed the life of a one-year-old child at a daycare facility in New York City was concealed beneath a mat in the nap room where he was sleeping, according to the police.
Nicholas Dominici, who had been attending the daycare for only a week, tragically succumbed to a suspected drug overdose on Friday. Three other children were hospitalized after being exposed to the potent narcotic at the nursery in the Bronx.
Two individuals are now facing drug conspiracy and murder charges in connection with the incident. Authorities believe the children, ranging from eight months to two years in age, were exposed to fentanyl while at the daycare.
The nursery was searched, revealing one kilogram of fentanyl discovered “underneath a mat where the children had been sleeping earlier,” as stated by NYPD chief detective Joseph Kenny on Monday. Additionally, investigators purportedly found three presses utilized for packaging drug quantities.
The daycare’s proprietor, Grei Mendez, 36, and her tenant, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, are confronting federal charges of narcotics possession “with intent to distribute resulting in death and conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death,” according to federal prosecutors.
US Attorney Damien Williams of Manhattan declared on Tuesday, “We allege the defendants poisoned four babies, and killed one of them, because they were running a drug operation from a daycare centre.”
Fentanyl, an artificial painkiller surpassing heroin in potency by 50 times, has been implicated in the surge of drug-related fatalities in the US.
Surveillance footage and phone records indicate that Ms. Mendez contacted her husband after discovering the ill children, prior to alerting 911. Subsequently, her husband arrived and removed several full shopping bags from the nursery.
City health inspectors performed an unannounced inspection of the nursery on September 6, but did not identify any violations, noted City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan.