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Krim murders: Yoselyn Ortega's family says Upper West Side nanny suffered financial and emotional hardships

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  • Family of Yoselyn Ortega said that nanny had suffered financial and emotional burdens for months ahead of alleged attacks
  • Said that they are shocked by violent crime and added that Lucia and Leo Krim, ages six and two, were like part of their family
  • Children discovered Thursday evening in bathtub of their Upper West Side luxury apartment with multiple stab wounds by their mother, Marina Krim

By Beth Stebner

PUBLISHED: 01:28 EST, 28 October 2012 | UPDATED: 08:50 EST, 28 October 2012

Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny accused of viciously stabbing to death the two young children under her care, had been suffering emotionally and financially, her friends and family said.

Her sister, Celia Ortega, told the New York Post that the nanny, who worked for a family on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, just ‘snapped.’ The sister added: ‘We don’t understand what happened to her mind.’

The 50-year-old Ortega remains hospitalized from self-inflicted stab wounds, including a deep gash to her throat. Sources say that she is still in a ‘catatonic’ state, refusing to talk to police or physicians, and has still has not been charged for the deaths of Leo, two, and Lucia, six.

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Happy memories: Mylades Ortega shows a photograph of her sister, Yoselyn Ortega, front center, taken some time between 1985 and 1990, at her home in Santiago, Dominican Republic

Happy memories: Mylades Ortega shows a photograph of her sister, Yoselyn Ortega, front center, taken some time between 1985 and 1990, at her home in Santiago, Dominican Republic

'Killer': Yoselyn Ortega is pictured with Lulu Krim, right, who she allegedly stabbed to death in a bathtub along with the girl's two-year-old brother Leo. Their sister, Nessie, left, was not at the apartment

'Killer': Yoselyn Ortega is pictured with Lulu Krim, right, and Nessie, left, who was not in the apartment during the attack; Ortega's family said that she suffered financially and emotionally

Mourning: Pictures of the Krim children Lucia, left, and Leo, right, were posted outside the family's Upper West Side apartment on Friday

Though family members acknowledged Ortega’s recent struggle with money and mental issues, none could understand how she could allegedly commit such a heinous act. Relatives in Ortega's native Dominican Republic said they were shocked by the allegations.

Milaydys Ortega, the nanny's older sister in the Caribbean nation, told The Associated Press on Saturday that her sister 'loved those children.' She said the family felt the nanny was 'unable to do that.'

'Yoselyn is fair, loving, loving with those children. She loved them,' Ortega said at the family home in Santiago de los Caballeros, about 150 miles north of the capital, Santo Domingo. She spoke as she prepared to attend Mass after visiting the grave of their mother.

She said the Krims had visited the Dominican Republic last February with Yoselyn and stayed at her home in a middle-class district of Santiago.

'Those children were here,' Milaydys Ortega said tearfully. 'They were happy, running, playing.'

Yoselyn’s 17-year-old son, Jesus, told Milaydys that his mother was innocent. ‘Auntie, I know it couldn’t have been my mother,’ he said, according to the New York Post. ‘Those kids were like my brother and sister.’

According to the New York Times, Ortega still hasn't been charged in their deaths.

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the Krim’s apartment on W. 75th street for possible clues. Since the tragedy on Thursday, well-wishers and mourners alike have laid flowers and other tokens of sympathy in front of the building

Pain: She is seen screaming as she is transported in an ambulance to hospital

Pain: Mrs Krim is seen screaming as she is transported in an ambulance to hospital

Heartbreaking: She breaks down as she is taken to hospital, where she had to be sedated

Miladys told the AP that Yoselyn is the youngest of six siblings, most of whom live in the United States. Her sister emigrated to America in the early 1980s after graduating from accounting studies at Santa Ana College in Santiago.

Yoselyn Ortega worked as the manager of a print shop in Manhattan, until she separated from the father of her child. She returned to Santiago for a while, but then went back to the U.S., her sister said.

Miladys Ortega said that when her sister got back to New York, she couldn't find an accounting job and decided to work as a nanny because she loves children.

During her last conversations with Yoselyn, her sister didn't say anything that seemed unusual.

Trusted: It is believed the Krims went to Yoselyn Ortega's home, pictured, in the Dominican Republic in February

Trusted: It is believed the Krims went to Yoselyn Ortega's home, pictured, in the Dominican Republic in February

Horror: Marina Krim's screams could be heard through the building after she found her stabbed children, right

Horror: Marina Krim's screams could be heard through the building after she found her stabbed children, right

Heartbroken: Marina Krim, pictured with Leo, was taken to hospital and had to be sedated

Heartbroken: Marina Krim, pictured with Leo, was taken to hospital and had to be sedated

'Yoselyn always was a normal person. When she was a child, she played, always played a lot. We would go into the countryside,' she said. 'As an adult, she dedicated herself to working. She was always working.'

Juan Pozo, a 67-year-old car service driver who formerly rented a room from the Ortega family, told The New York Times that the nanny's sister told him Friday that she had 'felt like she was losing her mind' lately, and had recently been taken by relatives to visit a psychologist.

'Yoselyn is fair, loving, loving with those children. She loved them.'

-Milaydys Ortega, Yoselyn Ortega's sister

Police said they were unaware of any significant history of psychological problems for Ortega, but were investigating whether she had recently sought treatment.

Neighbor Ruben Rivas told reporters she seemed to have suddenly aged in recent weeks and had lost weight.

Other friends said that while she was paid well by her domestic employers, Kevin and Marina Krim, and seemed happy with her job, she had suffered a financial setback when she had to give up an apartment she had rented in the Bronx, and recently moved back in with her sister in Harlem.

William Krim, grandfather to the slain children, told the Times he wasn't aware of any conflicts between the family and the nanny.

'We're just the most stunned people in the world. I mean, they treated this woman so well,' he said.

Discovery: Marina Krim holds onto her daughter, three-year-old Nessie, after finding her two other children, two-year-old Leo and six-year-old Lulu, stabbed to death allegedly by their nanny

Discovery: Marina Krim holds onto her daughter, three-year-old Nessie, after finding her two other children, two-year-old Leo and six-year-old Lulu, stabbed to death allegedly by their nanny

Found: the nany, Yoselyn Ortega, is taken out on a stretcher covered in blood. She is in critical condition

Found: The nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, is taken out on a stretcher covered in blood. She is in critical condition

When she was in her 20s, Ortega began traveling to New York City  - a place she loved - and she eventually moved there.

Ortega started out working for a printing company, but her sister Celia suggested that she go into child care instead since she 'always loved children, according to the sister.

Yoselyn Ortega met the Krims just two years ago, but the short period of time was enough for them to become 'like one family,' her sister said. The nanny loved the three children in her care, and their mother, Marina Krim, quickly took to Yoselyn’s 17-year-old son, Jesus.

'Marina used to say, “I have four children,”’ Ortega recounted to the Daily News. ‘She considered Jesus one of her own.'

It was Jesus Ortega who broke the terrible news to his aunt Friday. 'He told me, “She didn't do this. This is not her,"' Ortega said.

'We don't know what happened,' she continued. 'There was never any indication of anything like this happening. Only her, the children and God know.

'We still can't believe she did this to people she loved so much.’

Loss: Lulu and Leo, pictured, each had multiple stab wounds and were pronounced dead in hospital

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