Levi Aron, accused of abducting, killing, and dismembering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, remains in police custody today.The hardware store clerk, who was charged last night with brutally murdering Leiby, gave cops a chilling confession, describing in graphic detail how he suffocated the child with a bath towel and carved up the body in a “panic.”
Leiby vanished early Monday evening while walking home from a Borough Park day camp alone for the first time. Police said that even though he had practiced the route, he got lost and approached Aron for help.
In his confession, Aron spun a bizarre tale, claiming he simply offered to give Leiby a lift to a Jewish bookstore, then invited him to a wedding in Monsey.
Excerpts of Aron’s confession to police:
“He asked me for a ride to the Judaica Book store. While on the way, he changed his mind and wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. So I asked if he wanted to go for the ride – a wedding in Monsey – since I didn’t think I was going to stay for the whole thing since my back was hurting. He said okay.”
“Due to traffic, I got back around 11:30 p.m. … so I brought him to my house, thinking I’d bring him to his house the next day. He watched TV, then fell asleep in the front room. I went to the middle room to sleep. That next morning, he was still sleeping when I was ready to leave. So I woke him and told him, ‘I’ll bring him to his house’… when I saw the flyers I panicked and was afraid.”
“When I got home, he was still there, so I made him a tuna sandwich.”
“I was still in a panic … and afraid to bring him home. That is when I went for a towel to smother him in the side room. He fought back a little.”
“Afterwards, I panicked because I didn’t know what to do with the body.”
“… [I] carried parts to the back room, placing parts between the freezer and the refrigerator.”
“I understand it may be wrong, and I’m sorry for the hurt that I have caused.”
Aron has been transferred to an area hospital for DNA testing. Police are trying to find out if he is linked to other crimes.
Aron placed Leiby’s remains in his refrigerator and in a suitcase, which he then put in a dumpster a few miles away.
Police say various surveillance videos offer a crystal clear timeline of the tragedy. One of them shows Aron luring the lost little boy off the street and into his car Monday evening, police say.
Aron’s defense attorney Pierre Bazile is staying mum.
“Our condolences to the family of the victim, and at this time we’re going to let the judicial process take its course,” said Bazile.
People who know Aron said there was no indication he was capable of something so horrific.
“In his own mind, it’s a way of getting rid of the whole incident. The dismemberment is a way of getting rid of the whole incident,” New York forensic pathologist Dr. Charles Bahn said.
Bahn said Aron fits the profile of a man struggling with his own demons, panicking and then somehow snapping.
“What happens is, very often the pressure increases and increases and increases. And what happens to the boiling water when it increases too much? The lid comes off,” Bahn said.
Those who worked closely with Aron for years told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin on Wednesday he was hard-working, quiet, non-violent, but socially awkward every day at Empire State Supply Company.
“A little emotionally disturbed,” Michael Panzer, the suspect’s boss, said describing Aron.
When asked if there was anything different about Aron on Tuesday – the day the investigation into the boy’s disappearance went into overdrive – Panzer said his behavior was typical. Aron did not like to mix with his co-workers, Panzer said. That didn’t change when they mobilized to help find the missing boy.