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Grei Mendez, Carlisto Acevedo Brito facing murder charges in 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici's death at Bronx day care

Day care owner, family member facing charges in toddler's death
Day care owner, family member facing charges in toddler's death 02:23

NEW YORK -- Two people are facing multiple charges, including murder, in the death of a 1-year-old boy at a Bronx day care.

Grei Mendez, 36, stayed silent as she was walked from the 52nd Police Precinct in handcuffs Sunday.

Mendez owns Divino Niño Daycare, where Friday, 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici died and three other children were hospitalized from suspected opioid exposure. First responders had found the babies in cardiac arrest and administered Narcan.

"It's a tragedy for the children. It's a tragedy for her because I don't believe she's involved in what happened, so it's really bad all around for everybody," said Andres Aranda, Mendez's attorney.

Watch Kristie Keleshian's report

Suspects charged in Bronx day care death appear in court 02:27

Mendez was arraigned on Sunday night at Bronx criminal court and denied bail. She faces several charges, along with 41-year-old Carlisto Acevedo Brito, Mendez's husband's cousin.

Mendez was renting a room out to Acevedo Brito for $200 a month.

In court, officials said 1 kilo of fentanyl was found inside a closet at the day care, along with two kilo presses, which are used to process drugs. A third kilo press was found in Acevedo Brito's bedroom.

At least one surviving child tested positive for fentanyl.

"She just didn't know. She rented a room to somebody, and she didn't know what was going on," Aranda said.

Watch Ali Bauman's report

2 charged with murder in death of 1-year-old at Bronx day care 01:49

"The way those kids got hurt I think is something that nobody, nobody deserves that. No mother, no grandmother," neighbor Joanne Martinez said.

"As a father, you always trust other people to take care of your kids when you go to work. This is the last thing you could possibly think would happen to your son," neighbor Hailey Rivera said.

This weekend, Nicholas's grieving parents told CBS New York the day care was recommended to them by a community center, but it was rumored to have been renting out rooms.

"If I had known what would have happened," his mother said in Spanish, "I would not have taken him there."

The day care had passed a city inspection as recently as this month.

"The city's gonna have to step up more and go through every day care and investigate them good because the way things happened in there, I don't think it was right," Martinez said.

The two suspects are each facing more than 10 charges, including murder, criminal possession of a narcotic and endangering the welfare of a child.

Mendez's next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning. Acevido Brito is expected to be arraigned soon.

The medical examiner has yet to determine the official cause of death for Nicholas.

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