Nanny Was 'Unraveling' in Recent Months
Friends, family says she was on a downward spiral before killings
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2012 11:09 AM CDT
A woman looks at a memorial outside the apartment building where the two children were killed.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – The 50-year-old nanny accused of fatally stabbing two young siblings in her care had been on a downward spiral in recent months, losing weight, worried about money, and growing increasingly withdrawn, according to accounts by friends and family to the media. But Yoselyn Ortega, who remains in an induced coma after trying to kill herself, seemed to have no problems with the family she worked for. "They treated her like family," the victims' grandmother tells the Daily News:

  • New York Post: “She looked very unhealthy," says one of her neighbors. "It looked like she was going through some problems. She had aged a lot—like seven years in a few months.”
  • New York Times: "She was unraveling," is the story's first sentence. Ortega, a Dominican who has been a US citizen for a decade, shared an apartment with her son, sister, and niece, and her sister told a friend that Ortega felt lately like "she was losing her mind." The family took her to a psychologist.
  • Daily News: Ortega sold cosmetics on the side to try to make extra money. “She had said that someone owed her 100 or 200 dollars for makeup she sold,” says one neighbor. “She said, ‘Someone owes me money. Pray for me.’”

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
Oct 27, 2012 2:44 PM CDT
Taking he to a psychologist is a good first start, but it sounds like she needed a complete medical work-up. Bet the "good money" they paid he didn't come with health care! Obviously this woman needed a lot more care and concern than she received. I wonder what "good money" is supposed to be for a out of country, 50 year old nanny?
Oct 27, 2012 11:56 AM CDT
"They treated her like family," Tragic mistake.
Oct 27, 2012 11:44 AM CDT
This will be one of those stories with 20/20 hindsight (like kids who crack/kill people at school) where many who knew the person said there were signs, but the parents didn't see it (usually chose to ignore it, hope for the best/they'd snap out of it, etc). Another article said the Krims offered Ortega more hours (to help with the money angle?), but other articles said they paid her well so it's hard to understand this. Many have said the nanny didn't respond when they said hi, now they're saying she aged much in 3 months, lost weight, someone the Krims had referred her to said she was too strange/unfriendly, etc - all may have started when she was asked to leave the Bronx place she was staying at. In any case, she'd been with the Krims for a couple years, so they'd give her benefit of doubt/try to help her, but NO ONE would expect this. Maybe she had a brain tumor or something - and the (nanny's) family said she'd been to a therapist so it will be interesting to learn if she was on meds (some make people REAL bad when they start taking them). God be with the victims, and watch for signs. Horrible story.