In a shocking turn of events, the owner of a Bronx day care and a neighbor have been taken into police custody in connection with the death of a 21-month-old boy and the sickening of three other children from fentanyl found at the facility. According to sources, charges are pending against Divino Nino owner Grei Mendez De Ventura and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, a new arrival in the United States from the Dominican Republic. The legal status of Brito, who is 41 years old, remains unclear. Authorities are still searching for a third suspect who is believed to have sublet a room in the child-care center.
The Morris Avenue day care, opened by Ventura, 36, in May, had passed a surprise annual inspection just a few days before the incident. However, officials and police sources have revealed that nearly a kilo of fentanyl and a kilo press, which is commonly used to combine fentanyl with other drugs such as cocaine or heroin, were discovered in an apartment space connected to the day care. It is believed that the children inhaled the deadly drug.
The mother and grandmother of two of the survivors, a 2-year-old boy in critical condition at Montefiore Hospital and his 8-month-old sister, have expressed their gratitude for the police work. They stated that they want justice for what happened and believe that all guilt will be paid. Both women have asked to remain anonymous.
The tragic incident unfolded on Friday afternoon when four young children - a 1-year-old boy, two 2-year-old boys, and an 8-month-old girl - were found unresponsive in the day care. Two of the children were in cardiac arrest when first responders arrived at the scene. Multiple doses of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan were administered to 21-month-old Nicholas Dominici and the 2-year-old boy. Nicholas later succumbed to the exposure and passed away at Montefiore Hospital. Another child, who was picked up from the day care shortly before 1 p.m., also showed signs of exposure to drugs and was rushed to Bronxcare Hospital by his mother. Fortunately, this child is now recovering.
The Post has obtained chilling images that offer a first look inside the day care center. The photos reveal the tiny kitchen of Divino Nino Day Care, where the tragic incident occurred. In one picture, an open box of Lucky Charms cereal and other snacks can be seen near the sink, while a bag of Lays potato chips sits dangerously close to a stove burner. Several plastic bottles of water clutter the sink area, and bags of popcorn are scattered around a microwave. A makeshift half-desk contains paperwork, possibly medication, a book titled "Detente," and flowers in a small vase. Food in take-out containers is piled on top of the fridge. Another image shows a closet with a folded-up stroller at the bottom and an infant's floor seat among other items on a shelf. The only slightly uplifting photo depicts a colorful painting of cars traveling down a road. Interestingly, the front door of the facility says “Welcome” and "Ready to Lear," with no room available for the missing "N."
Further investigation has revealed that the owner of the day care center may have been subletting a room in the facility to a stranger. The joint task force comprised of members from the NYPD and the US Drug Enforcement Administration is currently investigating this tragic incident. Grei Mendez, the owner of Divino Nino Day Care, is being interviewed by the NYPD at the 52nd Precinct, and authorities are seeking to talk with the man who allegedly rented a room within the small facility. Sources have disclosed that the two-year-old survivor is currently in critical condition, while his 8-month-old sister, who also received a dose of Narcan, is in stable condition.