The remains of missing 9-year-old Leiby Kletzky were found early Wednesday, ending an intense two-day search in Brooklyn for the boy.
Half of his body parts were discovered inside a 35-year-old man’s refrigerator, while other pieces of his body were located in a dumpster, in a suitcase wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag, police sources reported.
The search, which has now taken an unexpected and gruesome turn, started on Monday when Kletzky never arrived to meet his mother at 5 p.m. after leaving day camp.
He had begged his parents to allow him to walk home alone for the first time, leading to the decision to meet halfway between the family home and the Borough Park school.
But when he never showed up, an extensive search by cops and volunteers from the Orthodox Jewish community began, ending in a tragic discovery.
Surveillance videos recovered by police showed Kletzky last seen alive near a dentist’s office close to Dahill Road in Brooklyn, according to NY Daily News.
The footage revealed the boy following a bearded man who was visiting the dentist’s office. The unidentified man then got into his gold sedan and drove off, with police assuming that Kletzky was in the passenger side, though that side was not captured in the video.
After police tracked down the dentist in order to find out the suspect’s name and address, the man was found in his home and taken into custody. Three others were also arrested, though the focus remains on the bearded 35-year-old.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said that the suspect made statements implicating himself in the death of the Orthodox Jewish boy.
A source told NY Daily News, “He has no excuse. He doesn’t know why he did it.” The source also stated that the Jewish man used a knife to dismember Kletzky’s body.
“As a father and a human being, I am deeply saddened that so innocent a soul could be so cruelly taken,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler shared.
The community remains disturbed and speechless. The boy’s parents began sitting shiva on Wednesday.
Colleagues of the suspected killer, who is employed at the Empire Supply hardware store, told NY Daily News that they always thought something was wrong with him.
He was identified as temperamental at times, but a hard worker. Other acquaintances labeled him as a loner.
Later known to be a divorcee from Tennessee, the man purportedly appeared sick when coming to work on Tuesday, the day after Kletzky went missing.
“What kind of world are we living in?” State Assemblyman Dov Hikind shared with MyFoxNY. “The nine-year-old boy was brutally murdered. Dumped.”
“How does a parent live with their little child brutally assaulted, murdered, dismembered?”
No news of the suspect’s motives and reasons behind the murder have been reported. The suspect’s name also has not yet been revealed.