A 1-year-old child is dead and three other children have been rushed to hospital after they were found unresponsive at a day care facility in New York City on Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the NYPD told The Daily Beast that no probable cause has yet been identified, but the New York Post, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said investigators were looking into whether the kids ingested fentanyl. The Daily Mail identified the deceased as Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, the child of a Dominican immigrant family. The boy’s father said it was his child’s first week at the daycare.
The kids reportedly ate something around 1 p.m. before lying down for their naps, and they were found unresponsive when it was time to wake up 90 minutes later. Despite being administered Narcan, the 1-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The others—a 2-year-old boy, a 7-month-old girl, and another 2-year-old boy—received care and were in stable condition, the NYPD spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
A neighbor told PIX 11 she’d seen a woman come running out of the building yelling, “My kids are dead. The kids are dead.” She told the news outlet, “Another lady came out holding a baby. The baby was unresponsive. I just feel so sad for the kids.”
Anna Ortiz, a neighbor of the day care center, was quoted telling the Post it’s run by a mother and daughter who live in the building.
“It’s a legit day care. It’s brand new. Just a few kids, mostly babies. They’re such decent people,” she said. The day care was reportedly licensed in May, and passed an unannounced safety inspection earlier this month. The day care is reportedly considered a “group family day care,” meaning it operates out of a home.
According to CBS News, the fire department has ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of the tragedy, and in a midnight press conference, Mayor Eric Adams stated the children had “come in contact with an opioid.” At the same briefing, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny confirmed the victims showed “symptoms of opioid exposure,” and said officers had discovered a kilo press—used to package illicit substances—at the daycare center.
Kenny added that a criminal investigation into the tragedy remains ongoing.