A year ago Kevin and Marina Krim were parents of three: daughters Lulu, 6, and Nessie, 3, and son Leo, 20 months. Then, in October 2012, a woman they trusted to care for their children allegedly stabbed Leo and Lulu to death in their New York City home. The couple did not know how they would survive. “My entire existence was shattered,” Marina recently wrote on Facebook. Kevin looked to his friend Rev. Jonathan Kitto for answers. “I asked him how someone with his faith would try to understand this horrific violence,” Kevin posted Dec. 19. Kitto has said he sat for hours trying to think of a reply. Finally he wrote back, “You must continue to love. Flourish with each other, flourish with Nessie, flourish with those yet to come and those that are and have been.”
In that determined spirit, Kevin, 38, and Marina, 37, shared the joyous news on May 16 that they are expecting a baby boy this fall. “We are filled with many emotions as we look to the future,” they wrote on the Facebook page for the Lulu & Leo Fund (lululeofund.org), which raises money for art and science programs for disadvantaged children, “but the most important one is hope.” Those who know the couple couldn’t be happier for them. “It’s such good news,” says a family friend about the pregnancy. “They are just really strong people and they love Nessie so much, they have to move forward.”
For a while after Oct. 25, 2012, that seemed impossible. Marina came home from Nessie’s swimming lesson to find her other children’s bodies in the bathtub, apparently stabbed by their part-time nanny Yoselyn Ortega, who then began to stab herself in the neck, according to police. Ortega, who survived, was charged with murder (see box).
“Those first couple of months, they didn’t know what they were going to do,” says the family friend. They considered leaving the city but decided instead to move to a different neighborhood. “They knew they couldn’t go back to the same life,” she says, “so they wanted to create new memories.” Adds a friend of Marina’s: “The pregnancy news really helped lift Marina’s spirits as she prepares for the nanny’s trial.”
Yet even as the Krims are making new memories, they are cherishing the old. In January, after spending the holidays with family in San Diego, they made an 11-day cross-country trek, finding comfort in the “Lulu and Leo Playlist,” a compilation of their kids’ favorite songs, while the sights stirred warm recollections. They thought of Leo in the Southwest, where “the huge red-rock landscape made the many freight trains look like his beloved multicolored toys,” wrote Marina and Kevin, who is an executive at CNBC Digital. In Memphis, “we could hear Lulu giggling at the ducks marching through the lobby of the Peabody Hotel.”
Back at home, Mother’s Day was painful. Marina, a stay-at-home mom who has been devoting herself to the Lulu & Leo Fund, started the day hanging up sand dollars the family had collected on a 2011 trip to Nicaragua. “Mounting them on the wall this morning was therapeutic for me,” she wrote, “and a perfect way to connect with my angels.”
By the time the leaves are changing again, they will have another child whose artwork may someday grace these walls. And the couple haven’t ruled out more after this arrival. “A new baby will help them heal,” says the family friend, “and help give them the big family they always dreamed of having.”