Two children, ages 2 and 6, were stabbed to death in their Upper West Side apartment building yesterday, apparently by their nanny, 50-year-old Yoselyn Ortega. The children — a boy, Leo, and a girl, Lucia — were discovered in the bathtub by their mother, Marina Krim, when she returned home from taking her three-year-old to swimming practice. Krim found the nanny in the kitchen, lying next to a bloody knife, bleeding from what investigators believe was a self-inflicted slash to the throat. Krim's screams alerted neighbors to call the police.
Ortega remains in critical but stable condition at NewYork-Presbyterian. Both children were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police have not yet been able to identify an explanation for the nanny's actions; a department spokesperson said yesterday he didn't know if she had left behind a note. By all appearances, however, the Krim family was very close with Ms. Ortega. A post on Mrs. Krim's blog, which she used to document "life with the little Krim kids," mentions visiting Ortega's family in the Dominican Republic.
"We spent the past 9 days in the Dominican Republic. We spent half the time at our nanny, Josie's sisters home in Santiago…We met Josie's amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!! More pics to come!!"
Reaction from neighbors of both the Krims and Ortega has been, predictably, shocked, horrified, and disbelieving.
Reaction from the media has been, predictably, focused on the Krims' wealth and beautiful home.
Few parents hand their children over to nannies lightly. It is a complex relationship, fraught with expectations and anxiety: Will they read enough or resort to TV? Are they on the phone too much? Do they substitute fries for carrots when parents are at work?
The family lived in a stately, late 19th-century apartment building where one three-bedroom unit currently available for rent has an asking price of $10,000 per month. They had a greyhound, retired from racing, named Babar.
The victims' father, Kevin Krim, an executive at CNBC, was on a business trip in San Francisco at the time of the murders. Comcast and NBC Universal released this (much more appropriate) statement on Friday:
A member of the CNBC family has suffered an unimaginable loss. The sadness that we all feel for Kevin, Marina and their family is without measure. Our thoughts, prayers and unwavering support are with them all.
[NYT // Image of last night's police scene provided by Meghan Washington]