The Manhattan nanny who police say murdered two children in their parents’ apartment pleaded not guilty to two counts of first and second degree murder Wednesday at her indictment, New York court officials say.
Yoselyn Ortega, 50, was in a hospital bed being treated for self-inflicted stab wounds and entered her plea through her attorney. Judge Gregory Carro ordered her held without bail to undergo a psychiatric exam. A court date for the results of the exam is set for Jan. 16.
According to police, on Oct. 25, Ortega was babysitting Lucia Krim, 6, and her younger brother Leo, 2 at the family’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side while their mother, Marina was out with a younger child. They say she repeatedly stabbed the two children. When their mother returned she found them in a bathtub dead and Ortega lying on the bathroom floor with stab wounds to her neck as a kitchen knife lay nearby.
Their father, Kevin Krim, an executive with CNBC, was out of town when the killings occurred.
The killings sent shockwaves through a city where many professionals depend on outsourced child care as a matter of routine. Investigators and Ortega’s family members alike could do little to speculate on what Ortega’s motive might have been for allegedly harming the children.
“Yoselyn Ortega is charged with taking the lives of two innocent children who were incapable of defending themselves,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement. “This crime shocked and horrified parents around the city, many of whom entrust their children to the care of others both by necessity and by choice.”