A friend of the New York nanny accused of killing two children says the woman had been collapsing into crying fits and stabbing at her food in the weeks leading up to the gruesome murders.
Raquel Perez testified at the trial of Yoselyn Ortega on Monday, describing to jurors how her former friend had been acting oddly prior to the stabbing frenzy in October 2012.
She said Ortega, 55, once collapsed on the couch sobbing and she would cry regularly when they met up various times in September and October.
Perez said on one occasion she made Ortega a plate of food after she started crying but the nanny started repeatedly stabbing at it with her knife and court.
A friend of Yoselyn Ortega, 55, (above earlier this month) testified at her trial on Monday that the New York nanny had been acting oddly prior to stabbing two children in October 2012
‘I asked her what was wrong, why she was crying,’ Perez said with the help of a Spanish interpreter, the New York Post reports.
‘She told me ‘nothing’.’
Ortega is currently on trial for the murder of Lucia and Leo Krim.
The children were six and two years old respectively when their mother came home and found them stabbed to death in a bathtub of their Upper West Side apartment.
The Dominican nanny stabbed herself in the neck just as the children’s mother was coming in the door but she survived her injuries.
Ortega has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and has mostly been sitting emotionless in court.
She offered a few smiles to her former friend Perez on Monday during her testimony.
Six-year-old Lucia and two-year-old Leo Krim were brutally stabbed to death in their Upper West Side apartment on October 25, 2012
Photos of two bloodied knives were shown to jurors in court last week
One knife used in the stabbing murders was found in the bathroom sink just inches from a pink child’s toothbrush
Perez told the court that Ortega had never mentioned hearing voices and said she loved the two children.
‘She would tell me that she loved them very much, that they were good kids, that they were very intelligent,’ Perez told jurors.
Dr Susan Ely, a city medical examiner, had previously told the court of the gruesome injuries inflicted on the children when they were brutally stabbed to death.
One female juror was left shaking after she heard how Ortega cut Leo’s eck with a kitchen knife, leaving a 1.5-inch deep wound in the neck.
Leo had been stabbed so many times that he had no blood left in his body when he ended up on the autopsy table.
Another juror shook as the jury was shown a diagram of Lucia’s body, showing how Ortega sliced and stabbed the girl 30 times on her head, neck, torso, arms and hands.
Her brother Leo had six wounds to his neck.
Ely said both children suffered horribly before they died because it took them several minutes to bleed out.
‘They didn’t die initially. Only some of [the knife wounds] were fatal. That takes an order of minutes, not seconds,’ Ely said.
‘Bleeding to death takes minutes.’
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 in court last week
A still image from a surveillance camera at Beacon Hardware is pictured above. Ortega and the two children are in the lower left-hand corner just hours before the attack. The family’s other daughter, Nessie, is seen being pushed in a stroller. Nessie was not at home at the time of the attack
Earlier in the case, the court heard what Ortega first told police as she recovered in the hospital, using her statement to complain about the cleaning duties she’d been asked to perform in the Krim home.
Two days after the attack, shackled to a hospital bed and with a tube down her throat, she dictated statements to NYPD Sgt. Yoel Hidalgo, using an alphabet board.
She 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.’
Ortega also said she didn’t want to clean, ‘because of soap’. Hidalgo told jurors she pointed to her pinky finger after making this statement.
In the days before the killings, Marina said Ortega had shown her a bleach burn on her pinky finger. Marina went out and bought natural cleaning products, she testified in court last week.
She also said she paid Ortega $100 extra per week for the five hours of cleaning.
Kevin and Marina Krim, the parents of the children, recorded a video last month, shortly before Ortega went on trial.
The couple asked that with their case coming up in the news again, that people promote the foundation they started in honor of their slain children, the Lulu and Leo Fund, which aims to support innovative art programs for children.
Since the death of their two eldest children, the couple have gone on to have two more kids, Felix, born in 2013, and Linus, born in 2016.