Police investigating a New York City daycare where a one-year-old boy died of alleged fentanyl exposure have discovered additional fentanyl hidden in a space underneath the center’s floor.
Following a tip about a trapdoor in the floor, authorities on Wednesday night and Thursday searched the Divino Niño daycare center in the Bronx again after fentanyl residue was found underneath a mat earlier this month where children had napped, ABC reports.
Police subsequently found a large quantity of fentanyl, other narcotics and various drug paraphernalia hidden underneath the floorboards, according to photos released online by the NYPD.
In an earlier search, investigators discovered a kilogram of fentanyl that was kept on top of play mats, in addition to scales and kilo presses used for compressing the deadly synthetic opioid.
On Saturday, the 36-year-old daycare owner Grei Mendez was jailed on a count of depraved indifference murder in addition to drug charges after one-year-old Nicholas Dominici died from apparent fentanyl poisoning. Three other children including an eight-month-old girl and two two-year-old boys were hospitalized after appearing to have been exposed to the drug.
Investigators have also charged Carlisto Acevedo Brito, a 41-year-old man who rented a room from Mendez, with federal narcotics conspiracy charges.
On Thursday, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Mendez and Brito in connection with Dominici’s death as well as the additional poisonings of the other children, ABC 7 reports.
Following Dominici’s death, the mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, said: “This crisis is real, and it is a real wake‑up call for individuals who have opioids or fentanyl in their homes … The mere contact is deadly for an adult and it’s extremely deadly for a child.”