On Thursday evening a mother came home to her Upper West Side apartment to find an unimaginably horrific scene: Her two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, were lying in the bathtub with multiple stab wounds. Their nanny was lying unconscious on the bathroom floor, having apparently slashed her own throat with a kitchen knife. The children appeared to still be breathing when they were found, but they were pronounced dead on arrival at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. The nanny, who arrested on the spot, was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital and is in critical but stable condition.
According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the mother, Marina Krim, left her apartment at 57 West 75th Street to take her 3-year-old daughter, Nessie, to a swimming lesson, leaving her children Lucia and Leo with their nanny, 50-year-old Yoselyn Ortega. When she came back around 5:35 p.m., the apartment was dark. After checking with the doorman to see if her children had left the building, she started flipping on lights and found the bloody scene in the bathroom. Neighbors called 911 after hearing screams coming from the apartment. “There were bloodcurdling screams from a woman,” neighbor Rima Starr told the Times. She also heard a man yelling, “You slit her throat! You slit her throat!”
Marina Krim was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Commissioner Kelly said she was having difficulty communicating. Her husband, CNBC executive Kevin Krim, was on a flight when the crime occurred. Police met him at the airport and took him to his wife.
Shocked Upper West Side residents suggested to the Daily News that the lesson to be learned from the disturbing crime is that parents need to be more vigilant about screening nannies and “do criminal and even psychological background checks.” However, the Times reports that the Krims knew Ortega so well that they they spent several days with her family while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. There’s no information yet about a possible motive, and those who knew Ortega said she’s hardworking and unremarkable. “She’s a very nice woman,” said the superintendent of the building Ortega lives in. “It sounded strange. All the time she was a nice lady, very religious. To me she has always been very, very stable.”
Update: The Times has more information on the horrifying scene:
The police said they spoke with Ms. Krim later on and pieced together the more detailed account that he gave at the Friday briefing, when he said Ms. Krim witnessed the nanny stabbing herself when she turned on the bathroom light. The police said they found Ms. Ortega unconscious on the floor when they arrived minutes later.
Ortega, who has not been interviewed because she is in a medically induced coma, is said to have “had an up-and-down year, getting and losing an apartment in the Bronx and being forced to move back with her sister on Riverside Drive in Harlem.” She may have seen a psychiatrist recently, or at least thought about going, police said. According to friends “she had changed for the worse, looking harried, gaunt and older in recent months.”