The distraught mother whose 1-year-old son died of a fentanyl overdose at a New York City day care center said her child had only been attending the center for a week and that the community center recommended it to her.
Nicholas Feliz-Dominici died Friday after the toddler “ingested fentanyl” at Divino Nino Day Care in the Bronx.
The grieving parents – Zoila Dominici and Otoniel Feliz – said they were recommended by Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. The daycare center had only been in operation since January and was registered with the city’s children and family office.
Daycare owner Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, and her neighbor Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, were arrested Saturday and each faced 11 charges following the death of little Nicholas.
A spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office told DailyMail.com on Monday that the two were arraigned on Sunday evening and are being held without bail.
Pictured: Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, the 1-year-old boy who died after taking fentanyl at a Bronx daycare center
The boy’s grieving mother, Zoila Dominici, told CBS News in Spanish: “Look at what happened.” “If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken him.”
Divino Nino owner Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, is seen Sunday following her arrest over the death of one-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici. Wearing an orange sweater and blue jeans, he eyed photographers outside the police station this morning
De Ventura’s neighbor Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, (pictured) kept his head bowed as he left New York City’s 52nd Precinct after also being arrested in connection with the overdose
A week before baby Nicholas’ shock death, the center had passed an inspection, The New York Post.
The boy’s devastated father said: “Apparently the apartment passed all inspections and supposedly the apartment was only for day care, but rumor has it that from what we heard they also rented rooms,” they said News agency.
The boy’s grieving mother told the story CBS News in Spanish: “Look at what happened.” “If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken him.”
Three other children who were exposed to the drugs remain hospitalized. Two of the children are siblings, a two-year-old boy who is in critical condition and his eight-month-old sister, whose condition is unknown.
Before the tragedy, Zoila said she was on the waiting list to enroll her son in the home day care center, located on Morris Avenue in Kingsbridge and just a few blocks from her home.
“We spoke to the people in charge… They recommended this place and seemed to follow all the rules.”
She visited daycare for the first time on her son’s first day and said she didn’t see any warning signs.
She described the room The New York Times as “happy, affordable” and a place with “a good reputation”.
She remembered that the daycare provider played soothing music during her nap and that she seemed responsible. She said she Son adjusted well to his new surroundings.
The mother of five, who works as a geriatric nurse, said Nicholas was her youngest.
His heartbroken mother called him “so intelligent and had so much love” and said he would have turned two in November.
“God gave him to me, and now he’s gone,” she said through tears. “I have to thank God for the time we had with him.”
The outside of the drug-run daycare that was housed in an apartment
Law enforcement sources believe the basement beneath the daycare where Brito lived was actually a drug bust
Mendez De Ventura, 36, and Brito, De Ventura’s husband’s boyfriend, lived in the basement and spent $200 a week on rent, the Times reported.
The two are accused of a range of charges ranging from murder and manslaughter to aggravated assault and drug possession.
De Ventura, wearing an orange sweater and blue jeans, eyed photographers outside the police station on Sunday. Brito, dressed in a gray ensemble and baseball cap, bowed his head as the perpetrator was led around.
De Ventura and Brito’s full list of charges includes: murder by depraved indifference, involuntary manslaughter of a person under 11 years of age, involuntary manslaughter resulting in death, four counts of assault causing injury by endangering death, four counts of assault causing injury during the commission of a felony, four counts of assault causing bodily harm causing serious injury and four counts of reckless assault causing serious injury.
They also face three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Law enforcement sources believe the basement beneath the daycare where Brito lived was actually a drug bust.
An NYPD spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Monday that they are still searching for De Venutra’s husbandHe also lived with her next to the daycare center. Police believe he may also be involved in the deaths, the New York Post reported.
Police said the investigation is still ongoing.
The boy’s father said afterward When they enrolled their son, he and his wife were never allowed into the daycare center and their son was often brought to them by their caregivers, he claimed.
“Parents don’t have permission to go in.” “You see it on the first day to see where your son will be, but after that you don’t have permission to go in,” he claimed.
“They said they don’t want the contamination from outside to get inside because they keep everything clean,” they said.
He revealed the shocking moment Otoniel and his wife heard the news, explaining that she had picked up their son from daycare earlier.
When she arrived at the center, police, emergency services and police officers blocked the street. Her heart sank as she received a call that no parent ever wanted to hear.
“My wife called me and said our child was going to the hospital. “We thought he was fine, but ten minutes later my wife called me back on the way to the hospital and said he had died,” he explained, fighting back tears.
All four were taken to hospital, but Nicholas did not survive.
The children were reportedly put in for a nap, only to be woken up at 2:30 p.m., and had eaten about 90 minutes beforehand, sources said.
When police arrived at the grim scene, all four children were administered Narcan, one of whom responded to the life-saving drugs, police said.
On Saturday, a police tape hung over the door of the site showing officers on site continuing their investigation.
The daycare has capacity for eight children ages six weeks to 12 years, records show.