NEW YORK (July 13, 2011) — The body of Leiby Kleztky, the 9-year-old boy missing since Monday, was found in a freezer, severed into pieces, according to NYPD.
Leiby, who wanted to take his first steps towards being independent, was found by police Wednesday morning. Parts of his remains were found in a freezer at the home of 35-year-old Levi Aron and his parents in Kensington. More remains were found in a dumpster almost 3 miles away.
According to a statement made by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly during a news conference, he said Aron allegedly implicated himself in Leiby’s murder, saying that fliers of the missing boy and the intense search for Lieby spooked him.
Kelly said that statements allegedly made by the suspect indicated that he kidnapped Leiby, and, as a neighborhood search for the boy intensified, he panicked and killed him.
"He panicked when he saw the flyers and when he saw the amount of activity being conducted by the community and by the police looking for the boy," said Kelly, which he described as hard-driving efforts by investigators and the community.
"This was a full-court press, certainly by the community, by the police department. Everything that could be done was being done. I think you can't fine-tune it any more than that," said Kelly.
Barry Fink, a Borough Park resident, told radio station WNYC-FM; "We’re basically a big family in Borough Park. It doesn’t happen that children are missing. That’s why within a few hours, we knew something must be very wrong, and, sadly, that feeling was on target."
Aron, a clerk at a maintenance supply company, has no known criminal record, other than a criminal citation for urinating in public issued last year.
Using surveillance footage, police caught a break when they allegedly saw Aron with Leiby outside of a dentist’s office. Leiby waited outside as Aron went into the office. Detectives got Aron’s name and address from a dental bill.
According to Kelly, detectives went to Aron’s home at about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, and asked where Leiby was. It is alleged that Aron only nodded into the direction of the refrigerator in his kitchen. Police allegedly saw blood on the freezer’s handle. Police also recovered a cutting board with three blood-spattered carving knives, Kelly said.
According to police, Aron said he picked up Leiby after the boy got lost, walking in the wrong direction. Leiby was walking home from summer camp for the first time alone, and prearranged to meet his parents seven blocks from the camp.
Aron is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community in the neighboring area of Kensington, said state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn.
"We're all in shock," Hikind said. "What kind of people are out there that are capable of creating these dastardly acts?"
After Kleztky went missing Monday, residents and strangers joined with local and federal authorities in a massive search effort, coming from as far away as the Catskills.
The FBI help interviewing witness, and deployed the bureau’s Crime Against Children Squad, said FBI spokesman Jim Margolis.
Charges against the suspect are pending.
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying he was directing his staff to ask a grand jury for the "maximum charges permitted by law" for "the vicious and callous murder and dismemberment" of Leiby Kleztky.
Article Copyright ©2011 by George McGinn. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link backs to this story may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Violators will be prosecuted to the extent that the law allows. For reprint requests, contact author at firstname.lastname@example.org.