New York City Police have arrested Grei Mendez, the owner of a Bronx daycare, in connection to the suspected opioid overdose death of a child. Mendez, along with Carlisto Acevedo Brito, is facing charges including murder, manslaughter, and assault.
A kilo press used for packaging “large quantities of drugs” was discovered, where four small children overdosed on Friday. One of the children, 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici, tragically lost his life. The New York Police Department (NYPD) confirmed that three of the children were found unresponsive at the Divino Nino day care center, exhibiting symptoms of opioid exposure. Narcan was administered, successfully reviving a 2-year-old boy and an 8-month-old girl. Fentanyl is suspected to have been involved in Nicholas Dominici’s fatal overdose.
During a press briefing, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny stated that a fourth child had been taken home by his mother before showing signs of lethargy and unresponsiveness. The mother promptly brought the 2-year-old boy to Bronx Care, where Narcan was administered, saving his life.
Mayor Eric Adams expressed his condolences to the parents who lost their child and emphasized the severity of the opioid crisis. Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan highlighted the potency of opioids and the risk they pose, even to young children. He mentioned that exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.
Divino Nino, the day care center, is a home-based childcare site authorized by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Recent surprise inspections conducted by the city’s Department of Health found no violations.
Police Commissioner Edward Caban described the incident as every parent’s worst nightmare.