Last night, a family was shattered when a mother returned home to find her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son dying from stab wounds in a bathtub, with the nanny on the floor with apparently self-inflicted stab wounds. Police suspect that nanny Yoselyn Ortega, 50, stabbed the children, Lucia and Leo Krim, before their mother, Marina Krim, discovered their bodies in their Upper West Side apartment.
The police are still investigating the deaths—Ortega has not been charged yet—but the violence has made many people, most notably mothers, question themselves and the use of nannies. A number of people are commenting, either directly to the press or online at sites like Urban Baby, about the horror.
- "I don't really agree with nannies personally. My parents always had a suspicion about babysitters."—Mother at P.S. 87 to DNAinfo
- "Get nanny cams. That is all."—Urban Baby commenter
- "Part of the reality of living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is that there are very few day cares. Some of us rely on nannies every day so that we can go to work and earn money for our families. Some of us rely on nannies so that we can have alone time with each child to make them feel special. Some of us rely on nannies so that we can take one of our children to swim class, or dance class, or go for a run in the park or dash to a crowded grocery store. It is a delicate and intimate relationship to leave your child with paid help, but many of us don’t have family nearby, and we are fortunate enough to have the means to hire lovely women (and occasionally men) to help us. And we all know that we are lucky and blessed."—Reader to NY Times' Parenting blog
- "Sometimes I have felt I was missing something by not going back to work, but last night my husband said, I'm so grateful that you are willing to stay home with the kids, and I feel the same. You just never know when you leave your kids with someone. Look- they really "knew" this woman, went to the DR and stayed with her family, how much closer can you get to someone who works for you?? If you have a nanny, has this event raised your level of concern at all? I'm not judging those who do employ nannies, I know that for some people it is the right decision, I just think last night's event would've sent my anxiety through the roof about leaving my kids home with someone."—Urban Baby commenter
- "What a terrible tragedy that has occurred so close to home. There are a number of ways that these tragedies can be prevented. Thorough background and identity screening would allow you to make sure you are bringing the right people into your circle. There are a number of resources you can use. My family and I have used [redacted] for my background screening needs and I couldn't have been happier with the services. Check their website [redacted]. They are located in the heart of NYC and are a pleasant group to deal with. In the midst of all this horror, we must not forget that we have a duty to protect our families. Just a tip from another concerned parent."—Urban baby
- "What is the norm when vetting a nanny? Do you require reference details before interviews? I'm interviewing and everyone wants my reference contacts details even before I meet them. I'm not sure I want these jobs so why would I give you the numbers and emails of my references?"—Urban Baby commenter
- "I have little sympathy for wealthy SAHM shoving their kids to someone else to handle but it sounds like the family really treated her like family. Most nyers do not. Hope nanny (if she did this) rots in hell."—Urban Baby commenter
- "It’s rocking the entire...community who rely on this type of service. 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."—Upper West Side other to DNAinfo
- "I have to second the nanny cam post and was going to say the same thing. It is not fullproof, but it certainly may help so why not do it? You can even just do an audio recording one day if nanny cam is too involved. I had someone who seemed to all other parents and to us to be lovely and extremely responsible. She was indeed responsible and a hard worker, but I became suspicious whens she started reporting that parents in my dc's class were talking about us and our dc negatively and she complained about dc more. We used to get a lot of unsolicited positive feedback on her. From the minute after I left she started screaming at dc about everything to the point where dc was crying constantly, and I don't know what else because we didn't see all of it. After one day of watching we fired her - this was after years of no hint of anything other than dc starting to ask if she was coming the next day regularly(with no complaint). She was as responsible a nanny as you could imagine and came from an old and well-regarded agency in NYC. Now I see we were lucky that it was just traumatic for dc and not more."—Urban Baby commenter
- "You don’t get how dizzying this is? This is 9/11 territory for this family. It makes no sense."—Urban Baby commenter