Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Page 7 News List

NY mother details finding children killed by nanny

AP, NEW YORK

The Manhattan apartment was eerily quiet for a home with three little kids. The only light glowed from a bathroom. That was where Marina Krim found her two children — covered in blood, slaughtered by the family’s trusted nanny.

“It’s like a horror movie,” she said on Thursday, testifying in the murder trial of the caretaker, Yoselyn Ortega. “I go down, I walk down the hall and I see the light on under the back of the door, and I’m like: ‘Oh God it’s so quiet in here, oh God. Why is it so ... quiet?’”

“And I open the door... And I open the door, oh God!” she said.

Krim was the first witness at Ortega’s trial.

Prosecutors said the nanny planned the Oct. 25, 2012, killing, waiting until she was alone in the apartment, selected two knives from the kitchen and then killed two-year-old Leo and six-year-old Lucia, who went by Lulu.

Krim was at a swimming class with their then three-year-old daughter, Nessie. They had gone to pick up Lulu from dance class, but she was not there.

After she found them in the home, she ran outside with Nessie and called for help after finding her kids, and then started screaming.

The central mystery of the trial is not whether Ortega killed the children, but why she did it — and whether she was too mentally ill to be held responsible.

Lucia had fought back and was slashed and stabbed about 30 times, prosecutors said, adding that Leo suffered five wounds.

Their throats were cut so severely it appeared at first they had been decapitated, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Groves said in her opening statement.

“There was no way to save them,” Groves said. “The devastation the defendant had inflicted on their little bodies was too much.”

However, prosecutors conceded there is not a clear motive.

Defense attorney Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg said Ortega suffered from severe, undiagnosed mental illness that was not taken seriously in her home country.

She said Ortega heard voices, saw visions and that sometimes the voices commanded her to act.

“I will ask you to determine at the end of this case whether or not these acts were driven by my client’s acute psychotic state,” she told jurors.

Prosecutors said Ortega gave police interviews that paint a picture of an unhappy employee: She told authorities that she hurt the children because she was having money problems and was angry at the parents.

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