The 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter of a CNBC executive were found dead by their mother in a dry bathtub in the family's Upper West Side apartment Thursday night, stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by their nanny, who slit her own throat and collapsed near the children, police said.
A neighbor told police she heard the bloodcurdling scream of the children's mother, identified by police sources as Marina Krim. Authorities said she found her mortally wounded children Leo, 2, and Lucia, 6, when she entered the dark apartment at about 5:30 p.m. The family nanny, Yoselyn A. Ortega of Manhattan, was near the tub, on the bathroom floor. She had a wound to her throat and was holding a knife, police said.
The children's father is CNBC digital media executive Kevin Krim, who had been away on a business trip. He was met by police at the airport on his return and was given an escort to the hospital, The Associated Press reported.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters the mother was returning with one of her children from swimming lessons.
The children were taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and pronounced dead.
The nanny was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and was in critical but stable condition in police custody early Friday, police said. She had stabbed herself in the throat, Kelly said, and is believed to be the assailant.
Thursday night, flanked by police, the mother and her young daughter left the building with a white sheet over their heads. Marina Krim was being treated for trauma at an unnamed hospital, police said. "We're taking care of her," Kelly said in a news conference.
No one had been charged Thursday night. The nanny is 50 and lived with the family, police said. They had no immediate information about a possible motive. "It's about the worst thing you can hear," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
One of Ortega's friends said she could not believe the nanny, who has one son, was suspected of killing two children.
"You're kidding me -that's not true," said Maria, who declined to give her last name but lives in the Riverside Drive building where Ortega lived until a year or two ago. "She's not like that. I've known her for many years and she's like family. It's so hard to hear that."
Neighbor Sandy Marcus, 56, said she ventured to the balcony overlooking the lobby, where she saw the mother sitting in a chair facing the wall.
"I saw a woman clutching . . . [the surviving] little child and screaming . . . I couldn't see her face.
"All I saw was the head and the hair of a little blond-haired child that she was just holding onto for dear life. The child was just staring out. All I could see were eyes. The child looked in shock with the mother's reactions," she said.
Marcus said she did not know the family, newer residents in a building that had been renovated several years ago. She said she had learned of the stabbing in her building from media reports, which initially said five people were stabbed.
For more than an hour, Marcus said she stayed in her apartment because she was afraid she'd be stabbed.
Now, she's afraid for the mother and her family, she said: "All I keep thinking about is this poor woman, spending the rest of her life, knowing two children were murdered."