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Nanny Charged in Fatal Stabbings Resented Her Employers, Law Enforcement Official Says

Monday, 5 Nov 2012 | 6:27 AM ET

Correction Appended

The nanny charged with stabbing to death two children she cared for on the Upper West Side of Manhattan told detectives that she had resentment toward the family, who she complained were always telling her what to do, a law enforcement official said this week.

The nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 50, was interviewed in her hospital bed on Saturday by detectives at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, the police have said.

Ms. Ortega was charged hours later with fatally stabbing the children, Lucia Krim, 6, and Leo Krim, 2, in a bathroom in the family’s apartment last month shortly before their mother, Marina Krim, returned from a swimming lesson with her other young daughter.

Ms. Ortega waived her right to have a lawyer present during questioning, the official said, although she did not confess to the killings.

She told the detectives, “Marina knows what happened,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said Sunday.

The police have said that Ms. Krim walked into the bathroom to find Ms. Ortega stabbing herself in the throat, with the dying children bleeding in the bathtub.

The official said that Ms. Ortega was not medicated but that she seemed “spacey.”

The official said that while the Krim family did not have problems with Ms. Ortega and seemed to live an idyllic life, Ms. Ortega, based on what she told the investigators, had a different view.

“She had resentment towards the parents” and said “they were always telling her what to do,” the official said.

Ms. Ortega was charged with first-degree murder in the killings. It was not clear when she would be arraigned or whether she had a lawyer.

The killings of the two young children sent a chill through New York City because they took place in a luxury apartment building a block from Central Park in a neighborhood where nannies are woven into the fabric of family life. In the days afterward, investigators and those closest to Ms. Ortega and the Krim family were at a loss to provide an explanation for the violence.

That was in part because investigators could not question Ms. Ortega because of the serious nature of her self-inflicted injuries. But also the relationship between Ms. Ortega and the family that had employed her for about two years gave no hint of the kind of discord or anger that would precipitate the violence that the police say Ms. Ortega inflicted on the children who had been in her care.

Relatives of the Krims said they had treated Ms. Ortega as a member of their own family and would even pay for her to travel to the Dominican Republic so Ms. Ortega could visit her family while the Krims went on vacation.

And a friend of Ms. Ortega recalled how fondly that she would speak of the Krims, saying she was well paid and treated decently. Ms. Ortega said she happily put in extra hours to help Ms. Krim whenever she needed it.

Still, Ms. Ortega had had some financial difficulties recently, and she had been forced to move out of an apartment in the Bronx and back in with her sister in Harlem. She had appeared harried and under stress, those who know her said.

On the day of the killings, the police said, Ms. Ortega was supposed to meet Ms. Krim at a dance studio. She never showed up, so Ms. Krim went back home to see what had happened.


Correction: November 5, 2012, Monday

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated whom Yoselyn Ortega had been scheduled to meet at a dance studio. It was Marina Krim, not Ms. Krim’s husband.

PHOTO: Yoselyn Ortega