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Two Arrested, NYC Toddler Dead After Multiple Children Exposed to Fentanyl at New Daycare Center: Cops

NYC Toddler Dies After Allegedly Being Exposed to Fentanyl: Police
Source: Unsplash

Four children exposed to fentanyl while at daycare center in NYC.

Sep. 18 2023, Updated 2:01 p.m. ET

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A man and woman have been arrested following the death of a 1-year-old boy from a suspected fentanyl exposure at a daycare in New York City, according to authorities.

On Sept. 15, Nicholas Dominici, 21 months old, and three other children — a 1-year-old boy, two 2-year-old boys and an 8-month-old girl — were found unresponsive in the basement of an at-home daycare center and were believed to have inhaled the deadly drug, the New York Post reported.

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When first responders arrived at the scene, they found two of the children in cardiac arrest. Nicholas and a 2-year-old boy were given multiple doses of Narcan, an overdose-reversing drug, officials said.

Police said Nicholas was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died.

On Sept. 16, officers said the 2-year-old boy remains in critical condition and the 8-month-old female was listed in stable condition, The Post reported.

Authorities said a fourth child, a 2-year-old boy, had been picked up from the daycare center just before 1 p.m. on Sept. 15. They also appeared to have been exposed to drugs and were privately taken to a local hospital where they are in stable condition.

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The daycare owner, 36-year-old Grei Mendez De Ventura, and neighbor, 41-year-old Carlisto Acevedo Brito, were arrested on Sept. 16 and each face 11 charges, including assault, depraved-indifference murder and child endangerment, The Post reported.

Authorities said they searched the building and found nearly a kilo of fentanyl, as well as multiple kilo presses — a device used to combine fentanyl with other drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Police said Ventura opened the daycare in May and it passed a surprise inspection on Sept. 6.

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Sept. 15 was the end of Nicholas’ first week at the daycare center. His father, Otoniel Feliz, said he initially thought his son was sick from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“It was a peaceful place, it seemed like they would take good care [of the kids]," Feliz said. "They always keep in contact with us. Everything seemed fine."

Feliz added, “We expected that we were taking our son to a place where he would be taken care of, not to the funeral home.”


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