The father of two young children who were killed by their nanny described the harrowing moment he learned of their deaths just after returning from a business trip and how he said goodbye to them.
Kevin Krim, 42, told jurors in the trial of Yoselyn Ortega on Tuesday that when he switched off the airplane mode function on his cellphone at John F. Kennedy International Airport, after returning from a trip to California, he was flooded with text messages from concerned neighbors and friends who had ‘heard something had happened’.
He said he was trying to figure it out and ‘fumbling around’ when a flight attendant asked him to go to the cockpit.
‘I started freaking out, saying, “What the f*** has happened?” Krim recalled.
Kevin Krim leaves court on Tuesday after testifying in the murder trial of his former nanny, Yoselyn Ortega
Ortega is facing murder charges for allegedly stabbing to death Krim’s, right, six-year-old daughter Lucia and two-year-old son Leo in 2012
Krim spoke in court on Tuesday about how he learned of his children’s deaths after returning from a business trip to California
‘It’s the worst thing imaginable. I was hoping it was a nightmare, and it wasn’t,’ he added.
While waiting for cops to come on the plane, he says he got a call from his father-in-law.
‘I said Phil, what the f*** is going on? And he said, “Kevin, I don’t know what’s happening. We’re in Chicago but Tara, Marina’s sister, called and said two of your kids are dead,”‘ Krim said.
He said two plainclothes police officers had to pick him up off the floor, somebody grabbed him by the arm and somebody grabbed his bag. He said he kept asking ‘What’s going on?’ and then saw there was a voicemail from his wife, Marina Krim.
‘I pressed play to listen to it, and I just heard the background noise of screaming,’ he testified. ‘I crumbled to the ground.’
Ortega, pictured in court in January, has pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of insanity
Ortega claims the devil made her kill two-year-old Leo (left) and six-year-old Lucia Krim (right)
Kevin and Marina Krim’s youngest daughter at the time, Nessie, survived the attack. They have gone on to have two more kids, two young sons
Krim said he was taken to a hospital, where he was reunited with his frantic wife, who had found six-year-old Lucia and two-year-old Leo’s bodies in their blood-spattered Manhattan apartment.
‘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. Oprah says people always get divorced when they lose kids. We’re not gonna get divorced.” I don’t think I said anything, I was in shock,’ he said.
It was in a private room of St. Luke’s that a surgeon told him what had happened to his two children.
‘I was crying. I was kind of flailing about because I didn’t want people touching me,’ he testified. ‘No one seemed to know much of the details, but they said it was the baby sitter who killed them.’
Photos of two bloodied knives were shown to jurors in court this week before the evidence photos were released by the New York District Attorney on Thursday
One knife used in the stabbing murders was found in the bathroom sink just inches from a pink child’s toothbrush
In this harrowing hand-written notes penned after the killings, Yoselyn Ortega said: ‘I had to do everything and take care of the kids. I worked as a babysitter only and she wanted me to do everything. She wanted five hours of cleaning every week’
Marina’s frantic text messages to Ortega
Ortega shook her head when he said this, and Krim glared at her. He said it was the first time he has seen Ortega since she killed his kids.
Krim’s testimony Tuesday brought tears to the jurors and people seated in the courtroom gallery as he described saying goodbye to his children.
‘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,’ Krim said tearfully.
‘They’d had this, like, sandy brown hair, and you see [the doctors] had tried really hard to wash all the blood out, but there was still kind of an auburn tint to it that I remember to this day.
‘I got down on my knees, and I said, “I’m sorry.” I said, “I love you,” and I kissed them, and I said goodbye,’ Krim said.
Photos of a bloodied knife wrapped in a towel in the hallway (top of image) and blood spattered on the floor and walls were among the images shown
One bloodied knife was found wrapped in a towel in the hallway on top of a toy refrigerator
Two kitchen knives were used in the stabbing attack. The images were taken inside the apartment roughly seven hours after mother Marina Krim found her children’s bodies
Ortega, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, refused to look and stared straight ahead when the photos taken inside the apartment were shown to the court
Krim also remembered the last time he spoke to Lucia, who he called ‘my little tomato’. He called her the night before her death, and she excitedly talked about an award she won at school. He never got the chance to speak to his son on that call.
Ortega has pleaded not guilty in the fatal stabbings of the two Krim children in October 2012. Her lawyers don’t dispute that she killed the children but say she’s too mentally ill to be responsible for what she did. They have said the slayings were an act of madness.
The Krims have stayed together after the tragedy. Their youngest daughter at the time, Nessie, was not home at the time of the fatal attack. They have gone on to have two more sons.
A still image from a surveillance camera at Beacon Hardware is seen. The defendant Yoselyn Ortega, 55, and the two children are in the lower left-hand corner.