A 35-year-old man and a toddler boy, believed to be his son, fell to their deaths from a Manhattan apartment building, according to WABC-TV in New York City.
Authorities said they received an emergency call reporting two jumpers from the 52-floor building on the Upper West Side around noon, the Associated Press reported, adding that officers responding to the scene found the 35-year-old man and the boy on the rooftops of two separate nearby buildings.
The AP reported that the man was pronounced dead at the scene and the child was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, according to police, adding that no identifications were released.
The New York Times described the boy as “either 3 or 4 years old.”
The man, an immigrant from the Ukraine, is estranged from his wife and apparently in a custody dispute, WABC said, adding that the man was supposed to hand off the boy to his mother at a police precinct but never showed up.
Police said the man has no known connection to the building, and detectives are investigating if he knew someone who lives in it. He had a steady job, no prior arrests, and didn’t leave a note, WABC said.
The man walked into the building, apparently unchallenged, WABC said, and that it’s unknown why he selected the building.
Detectives believed the man and the boy went off the roof, but it’s unclear if he dropped the boy first or jumped while holding him, WABC said, adding that one witness on a high floor saw a body fall past the window, leading detectives to believe the pair fell from the roof.
The boy was wearing Christmas socks, described as green and white with red mistletoe, WABC reported.
Luis Ortiz told the New York Post that he was at the hospital when paramedics rushed the boy there and that they were pumping his chest and working on him.
“You could tell he was slipping away. They said the father was up there, but they didn’t bring anyone else in. It was just heartbreaking. I have two kids of my own. They tried to do the best they could,” Ortiz told the newspaper.
The building, listed as South Park Tower, is a short distance away from Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center, the AP said.
Here’s a report from WABC: