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Owner of NYC Day Care Center Where Child Died Scammed Ex-Husband for US Citizenship

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Source: Yeissy Dominic/Facebook, CBS News/YouTube

Sep. 23 2023, Published 2:15 p.m. ET

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The owner of a daycare center in the Bronx, Grei Mendez De Ventura, has come under scrutiny following the death of a 1-year-old child who inhaled a dangerous amount of fentanyl while under her care, has learned.

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Source: Yeissy Dominic Facebook

1-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici was pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to the New York Post, Mendez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, moved to the United States through a green-card marriage to Juan Ventura, a man from the Bronx. However, according to Ventura's family, Mendez deceived him into the marriage solely for the purpose of gaining entry into the country.

Ventura's sister described Mendez as a "very bad person" who only wanted to go out to clubs, while Ventura himself was not interested in that lifestyle.

"She gave a very false impression to my brother that she wanted to be married, so he brought her over from the DR for marriage. But when she got here, she just wanted to smoke hookah [and] to drink a lot. And my brother, he's not like that," his sister told the outlet.

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Source: Yeissy Dominici/Facebook

Dominici, who would have turned 2 in November, with his mother.

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The Ventura family revealed that Mendez showed no interest in getting to know her husband's family, and they ultimately divorced due to the "terribleness" of their relationship.

Mendez's behavior during their marriage prompted Ventura's father to conclude that she is a "very, very bad person." After their divorce, the Ventura family completely cut ties with Mendez and had not thought about her until they learned about the tragic incident at her daycare center, named Divino Nino Daycare.

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Police said Grei Mendez De Venture called her husband and two others before contacting 911 for the fatal overdose.

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On September 15, Nicholas Feliz Dominici, a 1-year-old child, died after inhaling fentanyl while under Mendez's care. Three other children were also hospitalized for inhaling dangerous amounts of the drug.

Authorities discovered that the daycare center was also being used as a drug front. Mendez and a man named Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who was renting the downstairs of the apartment, were charged with murder, assault, and child endangerment. A kilo of fentanyl was found at the scene, along with other drug paraphernalia.

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Ventura has suffered greatly due to Mendez's actions and has sought counseling to deal with the damage she caused. He has refused to discuss his ex-wife's alleged crimes with anyone.

Despite the ordeal, Ventura has remarried, has a son, and continues to live in the Bronx.

The Ventura family expressed their offense at the name of Mendez's daycare center, noting that it translates to "Divine Child" in English, which holds great significance to them.

They find it deeply troubling that a child died under such circumstances at a place associated with the name "baby Jesus."



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