Published October 27, 2012
The nanny who allegedly stabbed to death two New York children was suffering from mental, physical and financial problems in the months leading up to the killings, sources told the New York Post.
Authorities say Yoselyn Ortega, 50, used a kitchen knife to kill 6-year-old Lucia "Lulu" Krim and her 2-year-old brother, Leo, inside their apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side on Thursday.
The children's mother, Marina Krim, returned home at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday to find the children lying in the bathtub with multiple stab wounds. Ortega, who was reportedly on the floor of the bathroom, slashed her own throat in front of Krim as she entered the room.
Lucia and Leo were rushed to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Ortega was taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition.
Sources told the website DNAinfo.com that Ortega is no longer in a medically induced coma. But they said she is unable to speak to investigators because she is in a "catatonic state."
The New York Post, citing interviews with the woman's neighbors, reports that Ortega complained of money problems in recent months and appeared "nervous." Authorities said the woman told people she was considering seeing a therapist, but it remains unclear whether she ever did. A toxicology report came back negative for drugs, according to the Post.
"She lost a lot of weight. She looked very unhealthy. It looked like she was going through some problems," Ortega's neighbor, Ruben Diaz, told the newspaper. "She had aged a lot — like seven years in a few months."
"She snapped," said the woman's sister, Celia Ortega. "We don’t understand what happened to her mind."
The newspaper also reported that the Krims offered extra hours to Ortega, a native of the Dominican Republican who has been a U.S. citizen for 10 years. They also referred her to another family for a baby-sitting job on the side, though that family turned her down because they found her "a little too grumpy," a law-enforcement source told the Post.
Marina Krim, 36, had taken her 3-year-old daughter Nessie to a swimming lesson Thursday but returned to her West 75th Street building after Ortega failed to show up with the two other children. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Krim found the apartment dark and walked down to the lobby to ask the doorman if he had seen Ortega and the children. When told they had not left the building, Krim went back up to the apartment and searched each room.
When the mother entered the bathroom, she found her children, fully clothed, lying in a bloody bathtub with multiple stab wounds. Ortega, on the floor with slashed wrists, cut her own throat as Krim walked into the room. The mother began screaming, prompting neighbors to call 911. She then clutched her daughter Nessie, who reportedly did not witness the scene in the bathroom.
"She was bent over the child, screaming and holding onto the only live child she still had," the family's neighbor, Charlotte Friedman, told the newspaper. "They were very deep, dark screams."
Lucia died from multiple stab and slash wounds to her stomach and neck, sources told the Post. Her baby brother was found with two slash wounds to the neck. Lucia also suffered defensive wounds from trying to fight off Ortega, according to the newspaper.
Krim's husband, Kevin, a CNBC executive, was returning from a business trip in San Francisco at the time of the killings. He was met by police at the airport Thursday night and taken to the hospital to be with his wife. Originally from the West Coast, the Krims moved from San Francisco to New York a few years ago. Neighbors described the young family as happy and loving.