The owner of the Bronx daycare where a 1-year-old died and at least three other children fell ill after being exposed to suspected fentanyl may have sublet a room in the tiny facility to a stranger, a source told The Post Heartbreaking details emerged Saturday about the toddler’s final breaths.
The shocking revelation came to light as a joint task force consisting of members of the NYPD and the US Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the deadly incident.
Meanwhile, the NYPD interviewed Grei Mendez, owner of Divino Nino Day Care, in the 52nd Precinct on Saturday and wants to speak with the man to whom she apparently rented a room at the small facility on Morris Avenue, sources said.
A kilo press, a device typically used to combine fentanyl with cocaine or heroin, was found in the daycare room, officials said.
“This is an item that drug dealers often use to package large quantities of drugs,” NYPD Chief Detective Joseph Kenny said during a late-night news conference.
“Tonight is every parent’s worst nightmare,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said of the incident. “These kids don’t deserve this.”
Two of the children were in cardiac arrest when first responders arrived at the facility. 21-month-old Nicholas Dominici and a 2-year-old boy received multiple doses of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan, authorities said.
Nicholas later died at Montefiore Hospital.
The two-year-old was in critical condition, sources said Saturday. The surviving boy’s younger sibling, an 8-month-old girl, also received a dose of Narcan and is in stable condition.
A neighbor described the chaos as first responders tried to save the children.
Alex Perez told the Post he saw “crazy ambulances, police cars, ambulances.” I thought someone was shot. I heard sirens. It was flooded. …I see them rushing out and pumping a baby. Everyone knew the baby had already died because he wasn’t responding.
“While they were empty, they pumped at the same time. They really tried hard,” said 32-year-old Perez.
“I see them running out and pumping a baby. Everyone knew the baby had already died because he wasn’t responding.”
“While they were empty, they pumped at the same time. They really tried hard.”
The child’s face was purple, Perez said.
“He was lying on a stretcher, the little one. …The ambulance man was getting a little impatient. I guess he also knew the baby was going to die,” the neighbor said. “They ended up carrying him away from the thing to run to the ambulance. Someone pulled him from the stretcher into his arms and quickly took the baby to the ambulance and they left immediately.”
A fourth child, picked up from daycare just before 1 p.m. Friday, also appeared to have been exposed to drugs, officials said.
His mother rushed her 2-year-old son to Bronxcare Hospital when she found the child, who had apparently been sleeping, unresponsive.
He was given a dose of Narcan and revived.
The daycare, which can care for up to eight children between the ages of six weeks and 12 years, was licensed in May, according to documents.
Just last week, an annual, unannounced inspection passed with no violations.