NEW YORK (AP) – Finding her two small children stabbed to death in her Upper West Side apartment last year, Marina Krim felt robbed of her entire existence.
But in a rare public statement Wednesday evening at the first benefit for her nonprofit, the Lulu and Leo Fund, Krim described a discovery in the weeks after the tragedy that has helped guide her back to life.
Wandering through her hometown of Manhattan Beach, Calif., in a daze, she noticed a piece of art under scaffolding at a construction site: the silhouette of a little boy and the pop of colorful hearts.
“After such an intense trauma, I felt like my brain wasn’t operating normally,” she said. “How was it possible that people were just walking by this inspiring art and not noticing it?”
She said she felt it was her children shouting out messages to her. The art, she said, allowed her to start healing.
“There was still a way to connect with Lulu and Leo, through art, beauty and creative thinking,” Krim said.
The fund aims to support innovative art programs for children. Late last month it announced its first grant would go to Free Arts NYC, a nonprofit that provides under-served children and families with mentoring programs through the arts. The fund specifically supports the Free Arts “Parents and Children Together with Art” program, where families work to increase communication and teamwork.
The family’s nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, has been charged with murder in the deaths and pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer unsuccessfully challenged a judge’s ruling that she is mentally fit for trial. The Oct. 25, 2012, killing shocked the city, where tens of thousands of nannies are employed by parents who entrust them with their children. Reports of serious violence by caregivers against children are exceedingly rare.
On the day of the killings, Marina Krim left to go pick up her third child, Nessie, from a swimming lesson. She returned home to their darkened apartment and discovered Lulu, 6, and Leo, 1.
The nanny was found on the bathroom floor with self-inflicted stab wounds to her neck, prosecutors said. The children’s father, Kevin Krim, a CNBC digital media executive, was away on a business trip. Police met him at the airport on his return and escorted him to the hospital where his loved ones had gathered.
“We had every reason to feel alienated from the world after this happened,” Kevin Krim said at the benefit. “And to really, truly survive and to live again, we had to have a reason to live.”
The couple has found some solace in each other, their children and the outpouring of support. But the fund is also helping the family heal, he said.
“It’s impossible, really, to give up on the world, when you’re trying to help it,” he said.
While the criminal case against Ortega moves slowly through the courts, the Krims are trying to live their lives.
The couples uses the fund’s Facebook page to post updates on how they are doing, an intimate and yet private way of dealing with the public interest in their lives. Hundreds of strangers have posted messages to the couple; nearly 35,000 people like the page. They, in turn, have written about traveling around during the summer, returning to New York, and the arrival of their new baby boy Felix in early October.
On Wednesday, Marina Krim said a friend tracked down the Corona, Calif.-based artist who made the stencil of the boy with hearts, Wil Reyes. He created an original poster for her. A print of the silhouette was also for sale at the benefit.
“In a time of complete darkness, I felt some hope,” Marina Krim said.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon