Police in New York City are searching for the spouse of a nursery owner after a one-year-old died at the facility from a suspected drug overdose and three other children were hospitalized.
Nicholas Dominici passed away after inhaling fentanyl at the nursery run by the detained Grei Mendez.
Under a children's sleeping mat, police reportedly discovered Fentanyl. The synthetic painkiller, 50 times more potent than heroin, has been blamed for a rise in US drug deaths.
Wednesday, an NYPD spokesperson told the sources that authorities were still attempting to determine the identity of the woman's husband, who is described as a co-conspirator in charging documents.
Video footage shows the husband escaping before police arrived.There is presently no reward for information leading to his capture.
On Friday evening, police were summoned to the Divino Nio nursery in the Bronx, where they administered Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose.
On Monday, NYPD chief detective Joseph Kenny revealed that one kilogram of fentanyl was found beneath a mat on which the children had slept earlier.
Federal prosecutors have charged the proprietor of the Divino Nio nursery, Ms. Mendez, 36, and her tenant, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, with narcotics possession "with intent to distribute resulting in death."
After discovering that her children were ailing, Ms. Mendez called her husband multiple times, before calling 911. According to officials, her husband then arrived and removed several full shopping bags from the nursery.
According to prosecutors, Ms. Mendez deleted approximately 20,000 communications from her phone prior to her arrest. Eventually, authorities were able to recover the communications.
A lawyer for Ms. Mendez stated that his client denies the charges and was oblivious of the presence of drugs in the nursery. Police estimate that the fentanyl found at the crime scene could have killed 500,000 individuals.
On September 6, city health regulators conducted a surprise inspection of the nursery, but found no violations.
Mayor Eric Adams defended the inspectors stating "That inspector did their job. And we must not give the impression that the inspector failed these children and their families in any manner."
"Who did not perform their duties?" he asked. These individuals were responsible for protecting the minors in the area. The father of a two-year-old boy who survived fentanyl exposure told sources that the nursery had warning indicators.
The individual told the network that, looking back, he considers it suspicious there were three men standing outside the building on Thursday and Friday.
According to recent research, fentanyl has reached virtually every part of the United States, from Hawaii to Rhode Island and Alaska.
The mortality toll from fentanyl has been rising, and it now includes an increasing number of extremely young infants. In separate fentanyl-related occurrences that took place over the weekend in the state of Washington, according to the police, one juvenile passed away and two others became unwell.
Prosecutors around the country are bringing criminal charges against the parents of children who died as a result of consuming the poisonous chemical.