Mother of one-year-old boy who died from fentanyl overdose at daycare in NYC says he'd only been attending it for a week - and that community center recommended it
- Nicholas Feliz-Dominici died on Friday after the toddler 'ingested fentanyl' at Divino Nino Day Care in the Bronx
- The boy's distraught mother, Zoila Dominici told CBS News in Spanish: 'Look at what happened. If I had known, I wouldn't have taken him'
The distraught mother whose one-year-old son died from a fentanyl overdose at a New York City daycare said her child had only been attending the center for one week and that the community center had recommended it to the family.
Nicholas Feliz-Dominici died on Friday after the toddler 'ingested fentanyl' at Divino Nino Day Care in the Bronx.
Grief-stricken parents Zoila Dominici and Otoniel Feliz said the daycare was recommended by Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. The day care center had only been in operation since January and was registered under the city's Department of Children and Family Service.
The daycare's owner, Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, and her husband's cousin Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, who was renting a room at the address, were arrested on Saturday and each hit with 11 charges following the death of baby Nicholas.
A spokesperson with the Bronx District Attorney's office told DailyMail.com on Monday that the pair were arraigned on Sunday night and are held without bail.
Pictured: Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, the one-year-old boy who died after ingesting fentanyl at a Bronx daycare
The boy's grief-stricken mother, Zoila Dominici told CBS News in Spanish, 'look at what happened. If I had known, I wouldn't have taken him.'
Divino Nino owner Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, is seen on Sunday after her arrest over the death of one-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici. Wearing a burnt orange sweater and blue jeans, eyed up photographers outside the police station this morning
De Ventura's neighbor Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, (pictured) - who is a cousin of her husband -kept his head down as he left NYC's 52nd precinct after also being arrested in connection to the overdose
A week before baby Nicholas' shock death, the center had passed an inspection, The New York Post.
The boy's devastated father Otoniel said: 'Apparently, the place passed all of the inspections and supposedly that apartment was only for day cares, but the rumor is, from what we have heard, they also rented rooms.'
Three other children who were exposed to the drugs remain hospitalized. Two of the children are siblings, a two-year-old boy, who is in critical condition and his eight-month-old sister, whose condition is unknown.
Before the tragedy, Zoila said that she was on a waitlist for her son to qualify at the home-based-daycare center, located on Morris Avenue in Kingsbridge and only blocks from their home.
'We spoke to the ones who are in charge … They recommended that place and apparently complied with all of the rules.'
Her son's first day was the first time she had visited the daycare and said that she did not see any red flags.
She described the space to The New York Times as 'cheerful, affordable,' and a place with 'a good reputation.'
She recalled that the daycare owner played soothing music during naptime and that she appeared responsible. She said her son was acclimating well to his new surroundings.
The mother-of-five, who works as a caregiver for the elderly, said Nicholas was her youngest.
She called him 'so intelligent and had so much love' and said he would have turned two in November.
'God gave him to me, and now he's gone,' she said in-between tears. 'I have to thank God for the time we had with him.'
The outside of the drug-fueled daycare center that was housed in an apartment
Law enforcement sources believe that the basement under the daycare where Brito lived was actually a front for drugs
Mendez De Ventura, 36, and Brito, De Ventura's husbands friend lived in the basement and spent $200 a week on rent, the Times reported.
The duo are each facing a litany of charges - ranging from murder and manslaughter, to causing serious injury and possession of narcotics.
De Ventura, wearing a burnt orange sweater and blue jeans, eyed up photographers outside the police station on Sunday. Brito, dressed in a gray ensemble and a baseball cap, bowed his head while being perp walked.
De Ventura and Brito's full charge list includes: Depraved-indifference murder, manslaughter of a person under 11 years old, manslaughter recklessly causing death, four counts assault causing injury through risk of death, four counts of assault causing injury during a felony, four counts of assault causing serious injury, and four counts of reckless assault causing serious injury.
They are also facing three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of narcotics, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Law enforcement sources believe that the basement under the daycare where Brito lived was actually a front for drugs.
An NYPD spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Monday they are still looking for De Ventura's husband, who also lived with her next door to the daycare. Police believe he may also be involved with the deaths, the New York Post reported.
The police said the investigation is still ongoing.
Nicholas' father Otoniel said after enrolling their son, he and his wife were never allowed inside the daycare and their son was often brought to them by their caretakers, he claimed.
'Parents don't have permission to go inside. You see it on the first day to see where your son will be, but after that you don't have permission to go in,' he claimed.
'They said they "don't want contamination from the outside to go inside because they keep everything clean," that's what they said.'
Revealing the harrowing moment in which Otoniel and his wife heard the news he explained that she'd gone to pick her son up early from the daycare.
Arriving at the center police tape, emergency services and cops were blocking the street, her heart dropped as she received a call no parent ever wants to hear.
'My wife called me saying our child is going to hospital. We thought he was fine, 10 minutes later, my wife called me back on the way to the hospital and said he died,' he explained, fighting back tears.
All four were taken to hospital but Nicholas didn't survive.
The children had allegedly been put down for naps to be woken up at 2:30pm and had eaten something about 90 minutes earlier, sources said.
When cops arrived at the grim scene all four children were administered with Narcan, one of whom responded to the lifesaving drug police said.
Police tape hung across the doorway of the premises on Saturday with officers at the scene continuing their investigation.
The daycare has a capacity of eight children between the ages of six weeks to 12 years old, records show.