The owner of the Bronx day care center where a tot died after inhaling fentanyl is a “very bad person” who duped her ex-husband into a sham marriage so that she could gain entry into the United States — and then put him “through hell,” his family told The Post.
Grei Mendez De Ventura was able to move to the Big Apple from her native Dominican Republic nine years ago thanks to her green-card marriage to Juan Ventura, a Bronx man she hooked up with through a mutual friend, his sister said.
“She gave a very false impression to my brother that she wanted to be married, so he brought her over from the DR for marriage. But when she got here, she just wanted to smoke hookah [and] to drink a lot. And my brother, he’s not like that,” said the sister from the family’s Fort George apartment on Friday.
“She wasn’t interested in the marriage for him, she just wanted to come to America. She didn’t seem like she was interested in my brother at all when she got to America and [they] ended up getting divorced because of the terribleness of it all,” said the sister, and other family members, asked not to be identified.
“He never wanted to be out and she just wanted to go out to clubs, get promiscuous,” she continued.
Mendez, 36, only visited the family’s home twice – “she didn’t care to get to know her husband’s family,” the sister lamented.
And that was enough for Ventura’s father to determine that she’s “a very, very bad person” and disapprove of her for his son, he said.
“My son, who has an education, isn’t into any of that,” he added.
After the couple “thankfully” divorced following a “terrible” couple of years, the Ventura family completely cut ties with Mendez – and hadn’t thought about her again until they learned about the Sept. 15 horror at Divino Nino Daycare.
One-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici died and three other children were hospitalized after inhaling dangerous amounts of fentanyl while under Mendez’s care at the Morris Avenue apartment, which authorities said was also a drug front.
Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, a 41-year-old man who was renting the downstairs of the apartment, were hit with murder, assault and child endangerment charges following the incident.
Mendez is being held in Brooklyn and awaiting federal charges.
Authorities have since uncovered a plethora of drugs and drug paraphernalia at the scene, including a kilo of fentanyl sitting on mats the children slept on; “kilo presses,” or devices usually used to combine the drug with cocaine and heroin; and other powdery substances that are being tested.
Ventura “has been in counseling because of all the damage [Mendez] did to him,” and has refused to discuss his ex-wife’s alleged crimes with anyone, his sister said.
Ventura — who is now remarried, has a son and remains living in The Bronx, according to his sister — could not be reached.
“[Mendez] really just put my brother through hell for the years that they were married . .. And he is really going through it” still, his sister said.
“We find it offensive that the name of the actual place is Divino Nino because that’s baby Jesus, and we really believe very much in baby Jesus. And for a child to die there, for me, that’s really triggering,” Ventura’s sister said.