Yoselyn Ortega Trial Begins for Brutal Killing of Two Kids

October 25, 2012 was every parent’s nightmare. Two children, Lucia and Leo Krim, were brutally murdered. The primary suspect was the kids’ nanny, Yoselyn Ortega. After several court appearances over five years, Ortega will now be tried by a jury. Read all about Yoselyn Ortega’s trial here.

Leo and Lucia Krim

On October 25, 2012, Marina Krim, then 36, and her then three-year-old daughter, Nessie, found Leo and Lucia brutally stabbed in their Upper West Side apartment. Two-year-old Leo and six-year-old Lucia “Lulu” Krim were discovered bleeding in the bathtub.

The children were breathing when Marina found them but were pronounced dead by medics on the way to the hospital.

Yoselyn Ortega, the Krim family’s nanny, was by the bathtub when Marina found her kids motionless in it. Upon being discovered by the Krim matriarch, Ortega began stabbing herself in her own throat with a kitchen knife. She was taken to the hospital and treated for her wounds.

Kevin Krim, the deceased children’s father, learned about Leo and Lulu’s deaths that night when he returned from a business trip.

According to police reports, Lulu had defensive wounds from trying to fight back her attacker. Leo was sleeping when the attack started.

Marina Krim had left her job as a marketing director to become a stay-at-home mom. Kevin Krim was an executive with CNBC.

Leo and Lucia Krim

Leo and Lucia Krim (Photo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLdWhQXbPh8)

Mysterious Motive

Yoselyn Ortega, a native of Dominican Republic, had been working as a nanny for the Krim family for two years. Once a jovial woman, her personality turned dark in the months before the killing.

She had survived her self-inflicted wounds, but the police were unable to question her in the hospital. The motive for murder was initially a mystery which led to speculation.

Relatives, neighbors, and friends of the Krims said the family was very good to Ortega. The Krims even paid for Ortega’s trips to the Dominican Republic to see her family. Police said nothing in her background hinted at such an act.

However, some reports suggest she was a disgruntled employee. Ortega and her teenage son had lost their home, and she was facing financial problems.

An official said, “She had resentment towards the parents” and “they were always telling her what to do.” She reportedly told investigators that she was made to do housework when she requested for extra working hours. Ortega was unhappy about being a cleaning lady.

It was also reported that Ortega suffered from delusions. It was speculated that mental problems could be the murder motive. However, that was soon disproved.

Ortega was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Two psychiatrists evaluated her and deemed her mentally competent to stand trial.

The Aftermath

Ortega had rejected a plea deal and pleaded not guilty to murder. The defense argued that she was mentally ill and should, therefore, not be held responsible for the killings.

However, she was deemed mentally fit and is slated to face a jury. After 90 pre-trial court appearances, on February 18, 2018, 12 jurors were chosen for Ortega’s trial. Opening statements are scheduled for March 1.

Ortega is expected to argue she was not in sound mental condition and didn’t understand the consequences of her actions. The prosecution will counter her insanity defense.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Marina and Kevin Krim, with their surviving daughter Nessie, set up the Lulu & Leo Fund. The charity raises funds for creative education programs for disadvantaged children. After losing their two children, the couple became parents again to Felix and Linus.