The father of two children slain by their Upper West Side nanny fought back tears in court Tuesday as he gave heartbreaking testimony about how he learned his little kids were dead.
Kevin Krim told the packed courtroom how his flight had just landed in New York City when he switched the airplane mode off on his phone—and was plunged into a real-life nightmare.
Krim said his “stomach was in [his] throat” when his phone was flooded with texts from neighbors and parents of his children’s friends saying they’d “heard something had happened.
“I was fumbling around trying to figure out, saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’” Krim said, but his pleas for information were interrupted by an announcement from the pilot saying NYPD was waiting at the gate for a passenger.
It would be hours before he would learn that his wife, Marina, had walked into the children’s bathroom in their Upper West Side apartment that night in October 2012, clutching the hand of their 3-year-old daughter, to discover Leo, 2, and Lucia, 6, glassy-eyed and blood-soaked, stacked on top one another in the bath tub.
Krim described how hours later, he and his wife, Marina, would say goodbye to their children as they lay on stainless steel tables at St. Luke’s Hospital.
“Lulu and Leo were lying on hospital tables, sheets up to their chins. They looked beautiful and strange. They had lost a lot of blood, so they were blue. But they still had this perfect skin, the long eye lashes. They’d had this sandy brown hair, and you could tell [the doctors] had tried to wash all the blood out, but there was still an auburn tint,” Krim murmured, his face reddening and eyes filling with tears.
“I knelt down, and I kissed them, and I said goodbye.”
Jurors and those seated in the gallery were brought to tears. Multiple jurors dabbed and wipes their eyes with towels. One woman used the neck of her sweater to halt the torrent of tears streaming down her face.
Krim said he’d last spoken to Lulu — who was nicknamed “my little tomato,”— the night before. She’d been excited about an accolade she’d been awarded in school, he said. Leo, who he described as having “deep, serious, brown eyes,” was not on the call.
Some 24 hours later, Krim was frantically searching his phone for answers when a flight attendant came to his seat and asked that he come to the cockpit.
“I started freaking out, saying, ‘What the f–k has happened?’“ when his father-in-law Phil called, Krim told jurors.
“I sat down in the galley,” Krim said, pausing as his voice faltered. “It’s the worst thing imaginable. I was hoping it was a nightmare, and it wasn’t.”
“Two just enormous plainclothes NYPD officers just picked me up off the floor. Somebody got me by the arm, and somebody got my bag. I was asking ‘What’s going on?’ and I kept asking them and asking them, and then I saw there was a voicemail from Marina. I pressed play to listen to it, and I just heard the background noise of screaming. I crumbled to the ground.”
“I don’t know if they picked me up, or carried me” to the car, Krim said, before he was transported to the hospital where his hysterical wife was.
It was there, in a private room, surrounded by cops, that a surgeon finally told him two of his children were dead.
“I was crying, I was kind of flailing about because I didn’t want people touching me. No one seemed to know much of the details, but they said it was the babysitter who killed them,” Krim said, pausing before taking a sharp inhale.
The dad then turned in the courtroom to glare at Yoselyn Ortega, who during Krim’s entire testimony, as she did with Marina’s, stared straight ahead and avoided eye contact.
He testified this was his first time laying eyes on Ortega since he’d learned she’d butchered his children.
Krim testified that Marina, when they were finally reunited at the hospital, was “frantic.
“She rushed up to me and hugged me, and then she pushed me away, and said, ‘We’re not gonna get divorced, people always get divorced when things happen to their kids. We’re not gonna get divorced.’ I don’t think I said anything, I was in shock,” he recalled.
The duo has since had two more sons.
They never returned to that apartment, Krim said. Family and friends packed up the few possessions they could bear to keep.
The father, pausing to collect himself, said that despite moving downtown, his wife and their daughter still saw Ortega’s sister, who had approached a heavily pregnant Marina in Lulu’s dance class to say her sister nannied.
Ortega’s hands fell into her head as he called her sister a “liar” who had “recommended a murderer to us.”
Marina Krim previously made headlines for directly addressing Ortega in court, sobbing and screaming, “You’re evil!” after two dramatic days of testimony.
While prosecutors are not required to prove motive, they have alleged that Ortega was jealous of Marina Krim’s picture-perfect life as a stay-at-home mom and offended when she offered her more money to do cleaning in addition to nannying.
Defense attorneys have said Ortega was under mounting stress in her personal life and overworked and had been “touched by the devil.”
A forensic specialist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner testified earlier in the day that Ortega’s DNA was found on the two knives recovered from the bathroom where the children were slaughtered.
Ortega, who’s mounting an insanity defense, faces up to life behind bars if convicted of charges of first-degree murder. If she’s found not guilty by reason of insanity, she will likely be committed to a psychiatric facility for the rest of her life.
Krim testified he’d never seen an inkling of instability in Ortega.
“Did you ever see anything in the time she was employed by you that made you think she was mentally ill?” Prosecutor Stuart Silberg asked him.
“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Krim said.