Bronx Woman Behind Bars, Husband on the Run After Toddler Dies from Suspected Fentanyl Poisoning at Their Day Care

by Xara Aziz

A Bronx woman and her husband who owned a day care have found themselves in the news after a toddler died from drug exposure during their care.

Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, and her husband’s cousin have all been charged with murder, assault and child endangerment on Sept. 16 after 1-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici died from suspected fentanyl poisoning at the Divino Niño Daycare in the northern New York City borough of the Bronx.

Since the toddler’s passing, Mendez De Ventura’s husband has been on the run, prompting federal law enforcement to conduct a manhunt that has expanded to the Dominican Republic, according to a report in the New York Post.

“We’re all working together to find him — nationally and over in the Dominican Republic,” a source told the publication. 

In addition to the toddler’s death, three other children were found critically ill at the day care, where authorities believe a drug-peddling operation is taking place.

Authorities further suspect Mendez De Ventura’s husband is the “main player” behind the drug-selling operation, which they think takes place inside the child care facility’s basement.

Authorities have not revealed the fugitive’s name at the time of this writing.

Meanwhile, Mendez De Ventura’s attorney, lawyer Andres Manuel Aranda, says the feds have the wrong person in custody.

“She’s paying for somebody else’s crime, basically,” Aranda told Gothamist. “You know, this lady doesn’t fit the profile of a drug dealer,” She had $100 in the bank, from what I understand. She was keeping down two jobs, not necessarily someone who’s out there dealing with a kilo weight.”

Federal and Bronx prosecutors say they will stop at nothing to find Mendez De Ventura’s husband.

“We’re going to get him,” Assistant US Attorney Damian Williams said. “Look out for more on that soon.”

This story is developing.

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