Outpouring of Grief for Children Stabbed to Death on 75th Street
MANHATTAN — The tragic killing of two young Upper West Side children at their luxury West 75th Street home sent shockwaves through the community and sparked a wave of grief for the young victims, who were allegedly killed by their nanny.
Lucia Krim, 6, who went by the nickname Lulu, and her younger brother, Leo, 2, who just celebrated his second birthday, were found dead by their doting mother, Marina Krim in their apartment at 57 W. 75th St. building just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Hundreds of messages of support and condolences were left on the blog that the victims' mother kept to chronicle the lives of her three young children.
"May your beautiful souls rest in perfect peace and God give your parent and sibling the strength, courage and favor needed in these sad times," read one comment. "I will pray for you every waking moment, God bless this family."
Another read: "So sorry for your loss. You have my deepest condolences."
That was among the nearly 600 comments that were left on Marina's tragic last entry about her son on the site, which was crammed with pictures of the children enjoying their life in the city, posted just hours before he was killed.
"Leo speaks in the most adorable way possible," read the post from 2:33 p.m. Thursday. "Firstly, he speaks super clearly, so you can understand every word he is saying.
"And he does things like '(I) want a fresh bagel' and 'Dito (what he calls himself) wants cold milk' and most adorable of all, 'No thank you.'"
The family moved to New York last year from San Francisco and embraced their new life in the city, where dad Kevin Krim worked as a senior vice president at CNBC digital media.
"A member of the CNBC family has suffered an unimaginable loss," according to a statement from NBC Universal. "The sadness that we all feel for Kevin, Marina and their family is without measure."
At the prestigious P.S. 87, where Lulu, attended the dual Spanish-language program, parents hugged each other Friday morning and wiped tears from their eyes. Others had yet to learn of the tragedy.
"I feel very very worried about things like that happening. You wake up in the morning and hear about this, it's exhausting," said William Davila, a police officer from the Bronx whose daughter Maya, 9, is in fifth grade. "I don't have words [for the parents], it's very sad. It hurts a lot just to think something like that. It's horrible."
Allison Estes, 49, an author, said that her son, who is in fourth grade at the school, where crisis counselors were on hand, doesn't know that the Krim children died.
"It's horrible. It's shocking," she said. "I just feel so horrible for that mother. She was working and doing her best. What a betrayal [from the nanny] and how horrible."
She and other parents at the school on West 78th Street, just blocks from the Krims' home, said that they were trying to figure out how help their children cope with the loss of their schoolmates.
"The moms and I might get together and figure out how to talk to them," Estes said.
Others were left worried about using nannies, a common practice in the neighborhood.
"I don't really agree with nannies personally. My parents always had a suspicion about babysitters," said parent Michelle Kalski.
Nial Tinney, 54, a superintendent and single dad, said he uses a daughter of a close friend to watch his 6-year-old daughter, Isabella.
"This sets off a lot of concern with nannies and babysitters," he said. "My daughter has never seen any violence on television. I'm not sure how she'll process it."
On Marina Krim's blog about her children, which has been removed from the web, there were pictures of the children eating hot dogs, playing with payphones, waiting for the bus and enjoying their life in the city.
The family was also active at the JCC in Manhattan and were members of the swim club there.
"The JCC mourns the tragic loss of members of the Krim family," a message on the group's Facebook page read. "Our prayers are with them at this difficult time."
No official memorial was planned, but the JCC plans to host parenting workshops next week about how to talk to your children about difficult moments.
"I can tell you that many mothers at drop off this morning said that they didn't sleep last night," said spokeswoman Erica Weber.
At the Krim's building, just off Central Park West, mourners set up a memorial with teddy bears and flowers.
"It's just horrible with what happened," said Jasmin Rothbard, a 35-year-old mother who travelled with her twin babies to place flowers at the memorial.
Nanny Kathaleen Peters, 46, who has been working for seven years on 77th street, said that the incident was "horrible."
"I can't believe how could she do something like that," she said. She said other nannies are sad and worried about what happened. "We're just devastated."
"As a nanny, it's gonna be very hard now," said Nathalie Dixon, another nanny who has been working in the neighborhood for six years. "Parents will be very paranoid about who they trust to take care of their kids now."
Marina Krim found her children dead there just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday when she returned from swimming lessons with her other daughter, Nessie, 3.
Her nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 50, who had worked for the family for about a year, allegedly stabbed the children and then turned the knife on herself. She was in critical but stable condition at New York Hospital Friday and had not been charged.
The motive for the alleged crime was not immediately clear, but the incident sent shockwaves through the tight-knit block.
Dee Rieber, the president of the block association, said that the stabbings left parents, many of whom use nannies, "stunned" and "raw."
"It’s rocking the entire...community who rely on this type of service," said Rieber, whose group sent out an email informing neighbors of the crime and offering its support.
"We’re working moms. We need help. It’s your worst nightmare. You trust your kids’ lives with these women who honestly you know very little about."
Even more disturbing, she said, was that the Krims were closer to their nanny than many families, even visiting Ortega's family in the Dominican Republic.
"I’m not sure what to do other than tell mothers to be aware and know who you’re hiring, but I’m not sure how you do that," Rieber said.