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Owner of Bronx Day Care Where 1-Year-Old Died After Being Exposed to Fentanyl Indicted on Murder Charges

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Daycare victim Nicholas Feliz Dominici, 1.

Oct. 6 2023, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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The owner of a Bronx day care, where a child died after being exposed to fentanyl hidden in the building, was arraigned on second-degree murder charges, has learned.

Grei Mendez, 36, the owner of Divino Niño Day Care, her husband Felix Herrera Garcia, 34, and cousin Carlisto Brito, 41, appeared at the Bronx Supreme Court on Thursday.

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Source: mexico department of public security

Felix Herrera Garcia, husband of the owner of Divino Nińo Daycare center.

At court, the trio was arraigned on second-degree murder charges, first-degree drug possession and four counts of first-degree assault. Mendez, Garcia and Brito remain in custody while they await their next court appearance, set for November 27.

Prosecutors alleged that the Bronx-based Divino Nińo Day Care center was being used as a front for a drug dealing ring following the death of one-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici.

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Source: NYPD NEWS/twitter

NYPD say a large quantity of fentanyl and other narcotics were discovered in a trap floor in the play area of the daycare center.

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Dominici was in the care of Mendez on September 15, when the child was exposed to fentanyl. Prior to calling 911, Mendez reportedly "wasted precious minutes" by calling her husband and others believed to be associated with the drug ring first. She was additionally accused of deleting over 21,000 text messages.

When emergency services arrived, Dominici was pronounced dead at the scene. A pair of 2-year-old boys and an 8-month-old baby girl were saved after they were hospitalized and treated with the overdose-reversal drug Narcan.

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Nicholas Feliz Dominici, 1, died after ingesting fentanyl while in Mendez's care.

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Following the one-year-old's tragic death, the day care's security footage was reviewed. Mendez's husband was caught on camera removing plastic bags from the facility as he fled through the back entrance. Garcia then reportedly fled to Mexico. After an 11-day international manhunt, Garcia was apprehended by authorities in Sinaloa.

Police also shared photos of a "trap floor" at the day care that was allegedly used to conceal drugs mere feet away from children's toys.

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Source: Indictment Photos

Photos of the Divino Nińo Daycare center taken by investigators.

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Photos revealed bags filled with a powdery substance inside the "trap door." Further investigation led to the discovery of a kilo of fentanyl in a closet at the day care, as well as six kilos of fentanyl, heroin, and other controlled substances underneath the day care's floor hidden by a padded sleeping mat.

Police said that additional items such as devices commonly used to mix drugs and press substances into bricks were also found at the Bronx childcare facility.

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District Attorney Darcel Clark called the incident a "catastrophe" in a statement following the trio's indictment on Thursday.

"A beautiful little boy lost his life and three precious children aged eight months to two years became seriously ill from fentanyl poisoning," Clark said.

"This is a catastrophe. Our sorrow is matched only by outrage because these babies were shields to protect a narcotics operation. Nicholas' death was entirely—excruciatingly—needless and avoidable. We will get justice for him, the other children and their families."



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