Horrifying pictures show a haul of drugs hidden underneath a trap door at a daycare centre where a baby died.
One-year-old boy Nicholas Feliz-Dominici was killed and three other children were hospitalised after being found unresponsive in the basement of Divino Nino daycare in the Bronx, New York City, which was secretly being used as an illegal drug-dealing hub.
Police revealed they have found multiple drugs and suspect equipment used in the manufacture of narcotics inside the nursery - with images released by the NYPD now showing a large quantity of fentanyl, other narcotics and drug paraphernalia under an artificial floor.
A kilo press, used to pack large quantities of drugs, was discovered inside the centre, police said. Officials confirmed all four children are thought to have come into contact with fentanyl, which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
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Two suspects, the nursery owner Grei Mendez, 36, and her tenant Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, returned to criminal court on Wednesday in the Bronx where they're charged with murder in connection with the death of Nicholas. The defendants did not appear but their lawyers did and the case was continued to October 5.
Prosecutors claim the defendants tried to cover up the overdoses of the babies after investigators discovered video of someone "carrying two full shopping bags" out of the building while the children were suffering the effects inside and in desperate need of help.
Mel Ramirez, 26, who lives next to the Divino Nino daycare, and said she heard a worker screaming the words "the kids are dead" a number of times. “She was yelling for help. She was screaming and saying, ‘The kids are dead! The kids are dead!’ multiple times,” she told the New York Post. “They were just pale and unresponsive. [One of the boys’] mouth was, like, open. I was like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t do anything about it either."
Distraught dad Otoniel Feliz told the Mail his late son was due to turn two in November and that this was his first week of daycare. "'It was his first week. This was his first week. We had a good recommendation. We were told it was a great place. It looked like a nice place," he told the paper.
Mr Feliz added that parents are not allowed to go inside the daycare after their child's first day, with staff saying it is to avoid contamination. He heartbreakingly added that his wife had gone to pick their son up earlier than planned as she was missing him but came across the traumatic scene when she arrived. He told how his wife called him to say Nicholas was going to hospital and they thought he would be fine - 10 minutes later she called back and said he was dead.
Mayor Eric Adams said he spoke to the grieving family and confirmed fentanyl was suspected to be involved. "To see the pain they are experiencing is something that all of us New Yorkers are experiencing and all of us that are parents," the Mayor said at a press conference.
Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said children were at risk not just from ingesting opioids. “A small child is not someone we would think would be at risk of interaction," he said. "It can come through inhalation, ingestion, or through touching the skin, intoxicating the recipient."2023-09-21T23:47:11Z dg43tfdfdgfd