Title: Day Care Owner’s Husband Sought After Deadly Fentanyl Exposure at Bronx Day Care
KINGSBRIDGE, The Bronx (WABC) — The husband of a Bronx day care owner is still at large after being caught on video fleeing the scene of a deadly fentanyl exposure incident at the Divino Nino Daycare on Friday. The exposure resulted in the tragic death of a one-year-old child and the hospitalization of three other young children, according to authorities.
First responders were alerted to the incident on Friday afternoon at the day care located on 2707 Morris Ave. in Kingsbridge, following reports of cardiac arrest. Nicholas Dominici, a one-year-old child, tragically lost his life after being exposed to fentanyl within the day care.
Officials revealed that the children had eaten something around 1 p.m. on Friday and took a nap. When staff attempted to wake them at 2:30 p.m., three children were found unconscious. Dominici was pronounced dead at Montefiore hospital.
Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, and Grei Mendez, 36, have both been charged with 11 counts, including murder, manslaughter, and assault, in connection with the incident. However, Mendez’s husband, who is the third suspect, remains on the run.
Authorities have recovered video footage showing both the husband and others fleeing the day care with bags of unknown contents in the initial confusion. Additionally, drug production equipment and a kilo of fentanyl were found inside the home-based day care, leading investigators to believe that the children inhaled fentanyl particles during their daylong exposure.
During a briefing on Monday, New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan described fentanyl as “exquisitely dangerous” and stated that it is responsible for 80% of drug overdoses in the city.
Mayor Eric Adams expressed outrage at the crime, calling for a comprehensive national effort to address the issue of fentanyl entering the city. Mendez’s attorney maintains that his client was unaware of the drugs being stored in the day care by her husband’s cousin, whom she was renting a room to.
Among the hospitalized children, a 2-year-old boy remains in critical condition, while an 8-month-old girl and another 2-year-old boy were rushed to the hospital but are now stable.
The parents of Jaziel Lino, one of the 2-year-old boys, expressed their relief that their son survived the fentanyl exposure. They recalled noticing three suspicious men standing outside the day care on the day before the incident.
Heartbroken and devastated, Otoniel Feliz, the father of Nicholas Dominici, expressed his grief and questioned the safety of the day care where he had believed his son would be protected. The day care, which caters to children from 6 weeks to 12 years old, had recently passed a surprise inspection with no violations.
The investigation is ongoing, and a Grand Jury is set to be convened on Thursday.