NEW YORK – The family of an 8-year-old boy abducted, killed and dismembered after he disappeared on his way home from a religious day camp has sued the suspect and the suspect's father for $100 million each.
Nachman Kletzky said in a lawsuit made public Monday that his son Leiby was psychologically assaulted and injured, and then killed. Leiby went missing July 11 while walking home in Brooklyn, the first time the boy was allowed to walk alone. Two days later, police discovered the boy's bloodied feet in the freezer of Levi Aron's apartment.
Aron, 35, was taken into custody and charged with murder and kidnapping. The rest of the boy's body was found in a suitcase in a trash bin elsewhere in Brooklyn. After Aron's arrest, a bizarre story unfolded about the hours leading up to Leiby's death.
Aron told police in a confession that he took the boy to a wedding north of the city and when he returned, he thought it was too late to take him home. So he went to work the next day, leaving Leiby in his attic apartment, not far from the boy's home. On his way back, he noticed fliers of the missing boy and "panicked," according to the police version of his confession.
Leiby was suffocated, drugged and dismembered, officials said.
After his arrest, Aron said he heard voices and was placed on suicide watch in protective custody. He's being held without bail. A court-ordered psychologist diagnosed Aron with an adjustment disorder and a personality disorder with schizoid features. The report, viewed by The Associated Press, portrayed Aron as a troubled, confused man with a "flat" and "apathetic" mood.
The separate lawsuits claim Aron caused serious emotional damage to Leiby's family. Aron's father owned the building where his son lived. The civil suit against him argued he should've known what was going on and could've stopped it, especially when his son was at work and the boy was believed to be alive in his apartment.
"The defendant should have known of the dangerous and deadly condition existing at the premises ... and should have known that it was foreseeable that the defendant's son would engage in murderous or other criminal conduct," the suit claims.
A call to Jack Aron's apartment was not returned Monday. Aron's criminal defense attorneys said they are not representing him in any civil matters and therefore could not comment.
The Kletzky's attorney, Mark Goldsmith, had no comment beyond the suits, and said the family wished to be left alone to grieve.