A child died, and 3 others suffered personal injury including one who is in critical condition and two others who are still hospitalized after they ingested Fentanyl at El Divino Nino Daycare in the Bronx.
A Bronx daycare center operator and a man living with her are now facing murder charges following the tragic death of 1-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici. The child’s passing has prompted not only grief but also profound questions about the city’s oversight and regulation of daycare centers. Investigators suspect that Nicholas lost his life due to exposure to the lethal opioid fentanyl, raising concerns about childcare safety and the effectiveness of regulatory checks.
Grei Mendez, a 36-year-old, owns El Divino Nino Day Care, located on Morris Ave. near E. 196th St. in Fordham Manor. Carlisto Acevedo Brito, aged 41, is the man who resided with her. Both individuals have been charged with a slew of serious offenses, including murder, criminal possession of a narcotic, and endangering the welfare of a child. These accusations cast a pall over this harrowing case.
This case took a chilling turn when law enforcement sources unveiled a disconcerting discovery—a kilogram of fentanyl, an extraordinarily potent synthetic opioid responsible for numerous overdose fatalities, was found concealed within a closet at the daycare center. Furthermore, two kilo-press devices were unearthed, fueling suspicions that the center may have served as a front for wholesale fentanyl distribution. This illicit trade in fentanyl has emerged as a significant contributor to the alarming opioid crisis in the United States.
Nicholas Feliz-Dominici and three other innocent children, aged 2 years and 8 months, were inadvertently exposed to this deadly substance. Prompt intervention by paramedics, who administered Narcan (a medication designed to reverse opioid overdose symptoms), saved two of the children, while Nicholas tragically succumbed to the toxic exposure. At present, the results of additional toxicology tests on samples taken from Nicholas are still pending.
Nicholas’s grieving parents revealed to CBS New York that the daycare had been recommended to them by a community center, yet rumors suggested that the facility had been renting out rooms, raising questions about its integrity and operations. Shockingly, the daycare had passed a city inspection only this month, raising concerns about the effectiveness of regulatory checks. From a legal perspective, the adequacy of these inspections and any potential liability on the part of regulatory bodies come into question.
The devastating case of Nicholas Feliz-Dominici’s untimely death not only serves as a stark reminder of the dire consequences of the fentanyl crisis but also prompts crucial questions about the city’s responsibility in safeguarding children in daycare centers
As legal proceedings unfold, this deeply disturbing incident will continue to draw attention and ignite essential conversations about the imperative need for enhanced vigilance and oversight in protecting our most vulnerable community members. The tragedy highlights the urgent need for a thorough reevaluation of daycare center inspections and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.
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