Father weeps as 3 charged in toddler’s fentanyl death at Bronx day care
Nicholas Dominici’s dad said he had hoped to have a photo of his son’s kindergarten graduation four years from now.
“But sadly what I have is a reminder of his death,” Otoniel Feliz said, weeping as he held up a photo of his son.
The toddler died last month after he and three other young children were sickened by what officials said was exposure to fentanyl at their Bronx day care center.
Feliz joined Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and other officials as they announced the indictments on charges, including murder and manslaughter of the center’s operator, her husband and the husband’s cousin in Dominici’s death.
He was 22 months old and had spent only a few days at the Divino Niño day care center when he died on Sept. 15.
Clark said day care operator Grei Mendez, 36, her husband, Felix Herrera Garcia, 34, and Carlisto Brito, 41, were arraigned Thursday and ordered held without bail.
Mendez and Brito were arrested after Dominici and three other children under Mendez’s care showed signs of opioid exposure. Herrera Garcia, who authorities said fled to Mexico, was arrested there and then extradited back to New York.
Dominici was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other three children, ranging in age from 8 months to 2 years old, were treated for what authorities said was fentanyl exposure.
“Our sorrow is matched only by the outrage because these babies were used as shields to protect a narcotics operation.”— Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark
Investigators said a kilogram of fentanyl was found in a closet in the day care center and 6 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin and other controlled substances were found under a trap door in the floor beneath a padded mat where children napped.
“This is a catastrophe,” Clark said. “Our sorrow is matched only by the outrage because these babies were used as shields to protect a narcotics operation.”