Two parents' worst nightmare unfortunately came true Wednesday when their eight-year-old missing son was found brutally murdered and dismembered, his body parts divided between a dumpster and freezer.
Leiby Kletzky, a boy from a Hasidic family in Brooklyn, vanished while walking home from his Yeshiva school Monday. Police launched massive search effort shortly after Kletzky went missing, but all hope of finding the boy alive vanished when his dismembered body was found divided between a random dumpster and a freezer located in the the killer's apartment.
Kletzky was allegedly abducted by 35-year-old Levi Aron while walking the seven blocks from Boyan Day Camp on 44th Street to his home in Brooklyn.
While on his walk, Kletzky lost his way and stopped to ask Aron for directions. Tragedy then struck when Aron kidnapped the boy and later suffocated and dismembered him with a kitchen knife.
The Daily Mail reports that Aron confessed to the crime:
After being tracked down by police, Aron is said to have confessed to the brutal murder, saying he killed the child 'in a panic' after the search for the boy became high profile.
Police said Leiby stopped Aron to ask for directions after getting lost the first time he was allowed to walk home alone from summer camp.
'35 minutes later Leiby was in a 1990 brown Honda Accord with Levi Aron, who subsequently brought the boy to his apartment, killed him there and then dismembered his body,' Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
'Leiby appeared to be lost. He encountered Aron and asked him for directions. It was just happenstance, and a terrible fate for this young boy.'
Aron, who works as a clerk in Kensington, was seized by police after he was spotted with the child on CCTV.
But what do we know about the suspect and what would drive him to commit such a heinous crime against a sweet, innocent child? The Mail reports that Aron is divorced and has no children of his own but actually looked after his former step-children. Aron's ex-wife was apparently in disbelief over the revelation that Aron confessed to murdering a young child. She tells The Mail:
'I am in shock. I am not believing this,' Debbie Kivel, 34, told The Post. 'He loved children. He loved kids. My kids are now 13 and 10, but when we were married they were younger – and he loved them.'
The former couple met online, married in 2006 but split up a year later because of a 'clash of character,' she said, adding, of their relationship: 'It was more like brother sister.'
Kivel's father Michael, however, had less kind words to say about his former son-in-law, who he said was a "creepy person" and a Hebrew School drop-out
Aron has reportedly lived in a flat above his parents' house and worked as a stock clerk in a local store. Coworkers allegedly found him "antisocial."
In another strange twist, the suspect's Facebook page revealed he practices Kabbalah -- or Jewish mysticism -- and recently joined a group titled: "IS YOUR FAMILY SAFE? Find out who really lives in your area!" The group reportedly exposes local rapists and child molesters.
The Mail reports that Community Rabbi Bernard Freilich told WNBC that Leiby's parents are "devastated." It was the very first time they let their son walk home from school alone.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind told NY1 that he'd "never seen a community feel more depression than they are at the moment,' and that 'whoever did this is sick beyond belief.'
Below is a video discussing the crime: