Autopsy shows Brooklyn boy was drugged, then smothered

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jul 20, 2011 4:44 PM
Autopsy shows Brooklyn boy was drugged, then smothered

By Aman Ali

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An 8-year-old Brooklyn boy who was butchered last week after getting lost on his way home from a summer camp was fed a cocktail of drugs before he was smothered with a towel, an autopsy revealed on Wednesday.

Levi Aron, 35, has been charged in the abduction and death of Leiby Kletzky, the boy who went missing before parts of his body were found in a dumpster and in a freezer inside Aron's home. Aron, who said he was "hearing voices," has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam.

The New York City Medical Examiner's office said that Kletzky was drugged with antipsychotic pills, a muscle relaxant, pain relievers and Tylenol before he was smothered.

Prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn but declined to speculate on when an indictment might be returned. Aron has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder and was held without bail and placed on suicide watch.

His attorney, Pierre Bazile, did not return calls for comment.

The boy was walking home alone from a Jewish day camp for the first time last week as his family waited to meet him a few blocks away. The child got lost, asked a stranger later identified as Aron for directions and got into his car, surveillance video showed.

A city-wide search was underway to find Kletzky when police found the boy's body parts and arrested Aron two days later.

LEIBY'S LAW

In the aftermath of the child's death, City Councilman David Greenfield introduced a bill on Wednesday called "Leiby's Law" that would create secure spaces for lost or scared children on every block of the city.

"I live two blocks away from the Kletzky family," Greenfield told Reuters. "I've had the opportunity to speak to the family, and one thing that's extraordinary about the Kletzkys is they're really committed to making sure that something like this doesn't happen to anyone else."

Under the proposal, individuals or businesses can volunteer their home or operation and, once they pass a background check, display a green "Safe Haven" sticker so children can seek shelter until police arrive.

Revelations in the case continue to stun the accused killer's ex-wife, Debbie Aron of Memphis, Tennessee, who was married to him from 2006-2007 after they met online.

She told Reuters her ex-husband was a good stepfather to her two children and she was initially attracted to him because of his sense of humor and their shared Orthodox Jewish values.

"I still can't process any of this," she said in a telephone interview.

"It's all still surreal. I just can't believe that this is the same Levi that I knew. I didn't have any inkling he was like this at all."

Police said their investigation was ongoing and they were looking at Aron's life in Memphis to see if any of his activities there can shed light on the New York case.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Johnston)