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Brooklyn Missing Boy: Police Arrest Man the Dismembered Child Had Asked for Directions

Eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky's remains were found in dumpster and refrigerator.

ByABC News
July 13, 2011, 11:38 AM

July 13, 2011 — -- Police have arrested the man whom a missing Brooklyn, N.Y., boy had asked for directions before his dismembered body was found this morning in two separate locations, including the man's refrigerator, authorities said.

The two-day search ended today when remains believed to be that of Leiby Kletzky, 8, were found early this morning in two Brooklyn locations, two and a half miles from each other. Body parts were found in a black plastic garbage bag inside of suitcase in a dumpster and in the refrigerator of the third floor attic of the home where 35-year-old Levy Aron lived, police said at a news conference this morning.

"It was a very brutal murder," New York Assemb. Dov Hikind told WABC. "This is the worst possible conclusion imaginable."

Leiby was reported missing Monday when he did not meet his mother at a pre-arranged location seven blocks from his camp. Police say the boy and the mother had gone to the location Friday and she had showed him the route he was to take.

Police say Leiby left camp at 5:05 p.m. and missed the turn he was to take to meet his mother. He was lost and asked a stranger, Aron, for directions, police said. The suspect was reportedly described as wearing "trappings" of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Security video footage shows Leiby speaking to Aron on a corner by his car, police said. Aron then went across the street and entered a building, while Kletzky waited for seven minutes. When Aron returned, the boy and the man got into his car, police said.

Detectives discovered that the building was a dentist's office where Aron went and paid a bill while Leiby waited.

After locating one of the dentists at the practice in New Jersey and a receptionist, the man's identity was determined and police went to his house, a three story home owned by the suspect's father. Aron's parents live on the first floor, his uncle lives on the second and he had been living in the third floor attic apartment, police said.

Police arrived at Aron's apartment at about 2:40 a.m. and found the door slightly ajar. The suspect was standing shirtless in the middle of the room. When asked where the boy was, he pointed toward the kitchen, police said.

There was blood on the refrigerator handle and police found a cutting board and three carving knives inside along with remains that are believed to be the boy's, police said. Aron also directed them to the dumpster where more remains were found, police said.

Police believe Aron took Leiby to his apartment and allegedly killed him there when he panicked after seeing all the fliers and people searching for the child.

There is no indication that Aron was connected to the boy or his family in any way prior to this incident, police said.

The case has drawn comparisons to the mysterious and highly publicized 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who left for school and never came home. No body or suspect was ever found and the case was re-opened in May 2010.

"I am speechless and shocked by the brutality and injustice of this horrific crime," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Brooklyn said in a statement. "As a father and a human being, I am deeply saddened that so innocent a soul could be so cruelly taken."

Thousands of community members, investigators and detectives participated in the search for Leiby Tuesday. The FBI was involved and a $100,000 reward was offered. Police describe the area as a "very safe neighborhood" and call the situation "every parent's nightmare."

An autopsy was started this morning.