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NYPD seeking 3rd person in connection to 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici's fentanyl-related death at Bronx day care

NYPD found fentanyl under mat where babies were napping at Bronx day care
NYPD found fentanyl under mat where babies were napping at Bronx day care 03:03

NEW YORK -- Investigators on Monday said they found a kilo of fentanyl hidden beneath a mat babies at Divino Nino Day Care were napping on shortly before they started showing symptoms of an opioid overdose

Four babies were exposed to fentanyl at the Bronx day care days earlier. One-year-old Nicholas Dominici died and three were hospitalized. 

Through tears, Dominici's parents told CBS New York their youngest son was only at the day care for a week. 

"That little piece, that little corner, about less than the size of a fingernail. A tenth of a size of a fingernail can kill and adult. So imagine what it could do to a child," said Mayor Eric Adams, highlighting the drug's potency. 

Since Dominici's death, NYPD said they found three kilo presses (devices used to package narcotics) and just over 2 lbs. of fentanyl at the day care. 

"It was laid underneath a mat where the children had been sleeping earlier," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny. 

Watch: Adams blasts fentanyl problem after Bronx day care death

Adams blasts fentanyl problem after Bronx day care death 08:37

Over the weekend, police arrested the day care owner, Grei Mendez, and her husband's cousin, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who was renting a room inside the home-based child care center. 

Mendez, 36, and Brito, 41, are now facing murder and drug charges. Neither had any priors. 

"Everything appeared normal, based on the standards we put in place to make sure children are in a safe environment," said Adams. 

Mendez's attorney claimed she did not know about the drugs. 

"She didn't know. She rented a room to somebody and didn't know what was going on," said attorney Andres Aranda. "It's a tragedy for the children, it's a tragedy for her, because I don't believe she's involved in what happened. So it's really bad all around for everybody."

Monday, investigators removed more evidence from the day care, including what appeared to be a surveillance system.   

According to police sources, phone logs revealed Mendez called her husband Friday before calling 911. We're told police recovered video showing Mendez's husband removed things from the basement before EMS arrived. 

Watch Jessica Moore's report

Search for missing suspect in Bronx day care fentanyl incident 02:28

"It is concerning that drugs are so close, especially that kids can get into it," said Monique Sullivan. 

"Never run a drug operation out of your day care. If you're trying to use it as a front to cover yourself, do not do it. It's not worth it," said Evelyn Patterson.   

"The way those kids got hurt, that's something nobody deserves that. No mother, no grandmother," said Joanne Martinez. 

There are more than 6,000 similar home-based child care centers in New York City. Divino Nino was licensed and passed a surprise inspection in September. 

"I'm very sorry, but one of the things my child care inspectors are not trained to do is look for fentanyl. But maybe we need to start," said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. 

Investigators are still looking to speak with Mendez's husband, who is considered a person of interest. 

Police said they never received any complaints about drugs possibly being at the day care and that the apparent operation wasn't on their radar. 

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