Jury selection starts Monday in the trial of a Manhattan nanny accused of fatally stabbing two children in her care in a bathtub in the kids’ apartment in 2012, multiple outlets report.
After allegedly killing 6-year-old Lulu Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim in the bathroom of their family’s Upper West Side home on Oct. 25, 2012, their nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 55, stabbed herself in the neck, police told the New York Times.
Ortega was charged with murder two days later. Questions about her mental state delayed her trial until now, local station NY1 reports.
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Prosecutors hope to prove Ortega “made a conscious decision” to kill the children, ABC News reports.
Ortega faces life in prison if convicted. She is currently being held without bail.
On the day of the killings, the children’s mother, Marina Krim, came home from a swimming lesson with her 3-year-old daughter to find her two other children dead from knife wounds in a blood-soaked bathtub, police said. According to police, Krim saw Ortega stab herself in the throat when she entered the bathroom.
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Ortega allegedly confessed to the murders while she was in the hospital recovering from her stab wounds, the Times reports.
“You don’t know what they put me through,” she allegedly told officers during questioning.
Ortega allegedly “admitted that she had killed the kids and that she had used at least two knives,” former Manhattan prosecutor, Gregory B. LeDonne testified during hearings last summer, according to the Times. “She used two knives, I think once on the boy and more than twice on the girl and indicated that she was mad at the mom.”
Ortega’s lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, asked the judge to throw out several statements Ortega had made to investigators, saying her client was too delirious and impaired by drugs while she was hospitalized to answer questions, the Times reported.
At the time, those who knew Ortega said she seemed happy working as the Krims’ nanny. “She always talked about loving the kids,” Ortega’s neighbor Sheila Luciano, told PEOPLE at the time. “She really loved her job.”
Ortega’s relatives told the Times that she had sought help from a mental health professional before the killings. They also said she had financial problems.
In the months leading up to the killings, Ortega’s neighbors in Hamilton Heights, an area north of the Upper West Side, told PEOPLE that Ortega seemed agitated and unhappy and had lost a lot of weight. “In the building, everyone was talking about how she didn’t look good,” said neighbor Ruben Rivas.
The day before the killing, Fausto Corniel, who had known Ortega since she was 5, told PEOPLE that Ortega “asked my wife to take her to the psychologist, and my wife took her.”
Calls for comment to the prosecutors and to Ortega’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Marina and Kevin Krim, the parents of the children, have since created the Lulu & Leo Fund, a non-profit organization that aims to inspire, heal and grow children through engagement with art, nature and creativity.