THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) – Grei Mendez, 36, could spend the rest of her life in prison as she’s facing charges in the overdose death of 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici and allegedly causing serious injury to three other toddlers.
She was denied bond Sunday night at her arraignment and deemed a flight risk because she is not a U.S. citizen and has family in the Dominican Republic. Callisto Acevedo Brito, 41, was also charged in the incident.
Police say four children ranging from 8 months old to 2 years old were exposed to fentanyl at the Divino Niño day care in the Bronx on Friday.
It’s still unclear how the children came into contact with the fentanyl inside their day care. The three toddlers who survived were successfully revived with Narcan.
According to court documents, Brito is Mendez’s husband’s cousin. He was reportedly renting out a bedroom within the day care facility.
Investigators found a kilo press in Brito’s bedroom, two more in a day care closet, and a kilo of fentanyl, according to court documents.
Mendez’s attorney said in court Sunday night that his client took care of the children that day, giving them lunch and putting them down for a nap. He said Mendez had no idea the drugs were there or what Brito was doing.
Dominici’s father told PIX11 News, “Nothing will give me back our son. Not all the gold in the world will make up for his life. For a parent, the life of a child is priceless. And the value will always be in my heart.”
Mendez’s family did not want to comment on their way out of court, and her attorney would not say where her husband was. She is due back in court on Oct. 21.
A third person is being sought in connection with the overdoses, sources said.