Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny accused of stabbing two young children whom she cared for in New York City's Upper West Side, was said to have been a gregarious woman. Recently, however, her life began to unravel. Those close to her say she just "snapped."
“She snapped,” Celia Ortega, the nanny’s sister, told the New York Post. “We don’t understand what happened to her mind.”
Yoselyn, who lately appeared sick, gaunt and nervous, was reportedly seeing a psychiatrist. “She lost a lot of weight. She looked very unhealthy. It looked like she was going through some problems,” Ruben Diaz, a man who lived near Ortega in Harlem, told the Post. “She had aged a lot — like seven years in a few months.”
Ortega had financial problems. She wanted to get a nice place for her and her teenage son, but money issues forced the two to share an apartment with Ortega's sister and niece, the New York Times reported. She roamed the halls selling jewelry and makeup for extra money. She allegedly had debts to pay.
Juan Pozo, who used to rent a room in her apartment, said he spoke to Ceila who said Yoselyn was not feeling well, “that she felt like she was losing her mind," according to the NY Times.
On Thursday, around 5:30 p.m., news first broke that two children had been stabbed in an apartment on the Upper West Side. These two children were later identified as 2-year-old Leo Krim and his sister, 6-year-old Lucia "Lulu" Krim.
Their mother, Marina, left the two children in the care of Ortega on Thursday when she took her other child to a swimming lesson. The nanny was supposed to meet Marina at a dance studio after the lesson with the two children, but she never showed. Marina went home to find Leo and Lucia stabbed in the bathroom of their New York City home. Ortega turned the kitchen knife on herself when the mother entered the room.
A motive for the stabbings is still missing. Investigators have found no history of violence in Ortega's background, according to CBS News. CBS senior correspondent John Miller theorized that the nanny may not have just snapped, based on gathered information and past cases. "She may have been planning this for weeks," he said. "But that still doesn't get to the why."
Karen Krim, grandmother of the children, said her son, Kevin Krim, and his wife had always taken care of Ortega. “They treated her like family,” she told the New York Daily News. “My daughter-in-law, if she thought there was anything wrong, she would have never left the two with her. This had to be something simmering inside this woman. Obviously, she went insane."
Ortega, a 50-year-old naturalized American citizen from the Dominican Republic, is in police custody at a hospital in NYC, CBS News reported. She is in critical condition after allegedly slashing her throat and wrists. She has not yet been formally charged.
Cause of death reports were released late Friday. Autopsies showed Lucia died from “multiple stab and incise wounds," which cause rapid bleeding, and Leo suffered “incise wounds of the neck,” a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said, according to the New York Times.
“They both suffered. They bled out,” a source told the Post. “The little girl tried to protect herself.”
Celia, a Bronx native and a nanny herself, got her sister Yoselyn the nannying job with the Krim family. She had met Marina and her daughter at a ballet lesson, where she referred the Upper West Side mom to her sister's services, the New York Daily News reported.
“I would like to die. I would give my life for the children to come back," the distraught woman told the Daily News. “I can't talk to Marina now. Maybe when she is more relaxed. I will give her a hug."
The Krim family moved from California to New York City just a few years ago, settling into an apartment on West 75th Street just steps from Central Park, according to the Los Angeles Times. Kevin is an executive at CNBC and a Harvard graduate. Marina, 36, kept a blog about her family's idyllic life, titled "Life with the Little Krim Kids." The blog has since been removed.