(Corrects to change YMCA to Jewish Community Center in police briefing in seventh paragraph.)
A New York City woman who worked as a nanny for a Manhattan couple is set to be arraigned today at her hospital bed on charges that she murdered two children in her care, court officials said.
Yoselyn Ortega, 50, was indicted this month on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 25 deaths of Lucia and Leo Krim, according to court records.
Ortega is scheduled to be arraigned from her bedside at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, where she has been held since the killings while recovering from what police say are self-inflicted wounds.
Hospital bedside arraignments aren’t uncommon, and can be conducted through a video link to the courthouse, said David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the New York State Unified Court System, in a phone interview yesterday. The hospital isn’t equipped for such a procedure because of Hurricane Sandy, so the judge will conduct the proceedings in Ortega’s room, Bookstaver said.
Ortega faces life in prison if she is convicted of killing the Krim children, who were found in the bathroom of their family’s apartment on West 75th Street on the night of Oct. 25, according to the New York City Police Department.
Ortega, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Dominican Republic, had been in the U.S. for 10 years and worked for the Krims for two years, according to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. She lived in Upper Manhattan with her son, her sister and her sister’s daughter.
On the day of the killings, the children’s mother, Marina Krim, had gone to a neighborhood Jewish Community Center for swimming lessons with her 3-year-old daughter, police said. She was supposed to meet the nanny and the two other children at a dance studio later in the evening, according to Kelly.
When the nanny didn’t appear, the mother went to the apartment and found her son, Leo, and daughter, Lucia, in the bathroom with stab wounds to their bodies, said Browne. When the mother entered the bathroom, the nanny started to stab herself, Browne said. Police said they found Ortega on the bathroom floor with a knife next to her.
The two children were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. The nanny was taken to New York Presbyterian, where she had been intubated and unable to speak until Nov. 3, when she agreed to discuss the matter with detectives and was subsequently charged with murder, police said.
The children’s father, Kevin Krim, worked at Bloomberg LP until last year until he joined CNBC as general manager for digital. Detectives met Krim, who was on his way back to the city from a business trip, at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Bloomberg LP is the parent company of Bloomberg News.
Ortega was struggling with financial issues and told police the family had recently given her an extra five hours a week of housekeeping work to help her make more money, although she complained that the new schedule interfered with doctors’ appointments, the New York Post reported on Nov. 2, citing unidentified people in law enforcement.
Ortega told police that she was paid to watch the children, not to clean up and do housework, and had been threatened with termination if she didn’t improve her work, the Post reported, citing the unidentified people.
The case is New York v. Ortega, 05112/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).
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