Two people were arrested on Sunday in connection with the death of a 1-year-old boy at a daycare center in the Bronx last Friday, CBS News reported.
Grei Mendez, 36, and her husband’s cousin Carlisto Aceveda Brito, 41, were arrested after 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici died and three other children were hospitalized for what authorities say was exposure to opioids.
Mendez, who owns Divino Niño Daycare in the Bronx, was arraigned on Sunday and denied bail. Both she and Acevedo Brito are facing multiple charges, including murder.
The daycare is located in Mendez’s home, at which Acevedo Brito rented a room for $200 a month.
According to officials, one kilo of fentanyl, along with two kilo presses used to process the drugs, was discovered in a closet in the daycare. A third press was found in Acevedo Brito’s bedroom.
The incident occurred last Friday when a daycare worker called emergency services reporting that several children were unresponsive. The four children were rushed to the hospital where 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici was pronounced dead. The three surviving children were an 8-month-old baby girl and two 2-year-old boys.
At least one of the three surviving children tested positive for fentanyl.
The parents of Nicholas Dominici told CBS News New York that the daycare center was recommended by a community center even though there were rumors that the owner was renting out rooms.
According to CBS News, Divino Niño Daycare passed a city inspection earlier this month.
Mendez’s attorney Andres Aranda called the incident a “tragedy” both for the children and for Mendez. He insisted that his client was not involved, explaining that Mendez only rented a room to Acevedo Brita and did not know “what was going on.”
Mendez and Acevedo Brita each face over 10 charges, including criminal possession of narcotics, endangering the welfare of a child, and murder.
As yet, the medical examiner has not released the cause of death for 1-year-old Nicholas.