Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny accused of stabbing to death two children in her care inside their Upper West Side apartment before attempting to take her own life, awoke in the hospital from a medically induced coma on Sunday.
Ortega reportedly refused to answer questions from investigators, but did ask about her family, said a source for CBS News. The same source alleged that Ortega had hired a lawyer and was speaking to her doctor.
Ortega, 50, allegedly slashed her own wrists and stabbed herself in the neck with the same kitchen knife she used on the children, but has since undergone surgery on her throat and has begun to speak again.
But although Ortega has not yet been formally charged with the double murder, police investigators say it is not on account of a lack of evidence.
In an e-mail to the New York Times, New York Police Department chief spokesperson Paul J. Browne said that Ortega had not yet been charged as of Saturday evening, because she was intubated and unable to speak to investigators.
“We wouldn’t charge a hospitalized suspect under these circumstances until an interview was conducted after consulting with doctors on the subject’s condition,”wrote Browne. “Obviously an interview can’t take place when somebody’s intubated.”
Ortega and the bodies of the two children she had been hired to care for, Lucia, 6, and Leo, 2, were discovered by their mother, Marina Krim, on Thursday night. Krim reportedly became suspicious when Ortega did not arrive as planned, at a dance lesson for her oldest child, Lucia
Krim was scheduled to pick up her youngest daughter, Nessie, 3, from a swimming lesson on Amsterdam Avenue, and meet up with Ortega and the other children at a dance studio on West 68th street. But when Krim and Nessie arrived at the studio, at around 4:45 pm, Ortega and the children were not there.
Krim assumed that she had missed them, and returned to her apartment with Nessie. But once there, she found the lights off and no sign of Ortega or her other two children. Confused, she returned downstairs and asked the doorman if he had seen Ortega or the children leave the apartment. He told her that he hadn’t.
It was then that Krim returned to her apartment for the second time, and found the bodies of her children lying in a bathtub, Ortega on the floor next to them, in a pool of her own blood.
After being rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, Lucia and Leo were pronounced dead upon arrival. According to Browne, hospital staff were forced to sedate Marina Krim due to her hysteria. “It’s about the worst thing you can hear or imagine,” he said.
The children’s father, Kevin Krim, who is an executive at CNBC, was returning home from a business meeting when he was notified of the tragic news. Police met him at the airport.
A police search of the Harlem apartment Ortega shares with her son did not provide a motive for the killings, but new details about Ortega’s life revealed since the murders, suggest that she was mentally deteriorating.
According to relatives of Ortega’s, she had been struggling with money lately, and had begun seeking the help of a mental health professional. Neighbors of the Krims’ commented that she had seemed cold and unfriendly.
Charlotte Friedman, a neighbor in the building rode the elevator with Ortega and the two children after they returned home from school and is believed to have been the last person to see the children alive, said that Ortega had seemed taciturn.
Friedman said that she had spoken to the children who had seemed friendly and happy, but Ortega had said nothing. “I never saw her as a warm nanny," she said.