NEW YORK (AP) — Walking home alone from day camp for the first time, 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky disappeared.
A day-and-a-half search led police to the Brooklyn home of a man seen on a surveillance video with the young Orthodox Jewish child. They asked: Where is the boy?
The man nodded toward the kitchen, authorities said, where blood stained the freezer door. Inside was the stuff of horror films — severed feet, wrapped in plastic. In the refrigerator, a cutting board and three bloody carving knives. A plastic garbage bag with bloody towels was nearby.
“It is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday, following the arrest of 35-year-old Levi Aron on a charge of second-degree murder.
Leiby disappeared Monday afternoon while on his way to meet his mother on a street corner seven blocks from his day camp, the first time the young Hasidic child was allowed to walk the route alone. Authorities said he had evidently gotten lost after missing a turn, and had reached out to Aron, a stranger, for help.
The gruesome killing shocked the tight-knit Hasidic community in Borough Park, in part because it is one of the safest sections of the city and because Aron is himself an Orthodox Jew, although not Hasidic. The Hasidim are ultra-Orthodox Jews.