Brooklyn Boy Was Drugged Then Smothered, Medical Examiner Says

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 8-year-old boy who was killed and dismembered after he was abducted from a Brooklyn street last week was drugged before he was smothered to death, the city's Medical Examiner said Wednesday.

The death of Leiby Kletzky was ruled a homicide the same day Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said a grand jury indicted Levi Aron, 35, in the boy's killing. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Brooklyn last week.

Aron is accused of killing and dismembering the boy after plucking him from a Borough Park sidewalk on July 11.

Kletzky's death was due to intoxication by combined effects of a muscle relaxant (cyclobenzaprine), an antipsychotic (quetiapine), pain medication (hydrocodone) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) followed by smothering, according to medical examiner.

Aron, a divorced hardware store clerk, is undergoing a psychiatric exam at Bellevue Hospital after his lawyer told a Brooklyn judge that Aron had hallucinations and asked he be put on suicide watch.

Earlier this week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited the grief-stricken Kletzky family at their Borough Park home where they sat shiva.

"I don't know why God sometimes does some things," the mayor said.

Aron told police in a confession first obtained by and confirmed by NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, the boy first approached him and asked directions to the Jewish book store. The boy then waited for Aron while he visited his dentist.

Aron then allegedly brought the boy home and said he fell asleep watching TV. Aron said when he saw flyers in the neighborhood indicating the boy was missing he panicked and smothered the boy with a towel. He later dismembered the boy's body.

Scratch marks on the accused killer suggests the boy fought back, police said.

Aron's ex-wife, Debbie Kivel, told WNYC that Aron frequented karaoke bars, dreamed of appearing on "American Idol" and wanted kids of his own — and that when she spoke with him a week before the slaying, he seemed to be behaving normally.

"He sounded good and in good spirits," she said, "making jokes like he always does."

Kivel said she never heard him talking of hallucinations or noticed signs of mental instability. The couple married in February 2006, and divorced in 2008. Kivel said they divorced because of “irreconcilable differences,” and that they had a "clash of character."

But Sam Lowy, who worked with Aron for eight years at Empire State Supply in Brooklyn, said he was "creepy" and kept to himself.

"He fits the creepy type," Lowy said, nothing Aron seemed "emotionless" when news that the boy was missing emerged.

With reporting by Mirela Iverac, Stephen Nessen, Kathleen Horan and Matt Joseloff


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Comments [5]

Beautiful~Insanity~69 from Canada

I want to say god bless that sweet little boy, may god be with you and heal your pain, may god be with your family and friends, this was not meant to happen, this should not have happen. You will get your justice sweet boy, it will be done. People are sick in this world and are cold, but there are loving people here praying for you and your family. I did not know you but this is personal to me as I am a mother. If theres a devil then theres a god, and I know you are with god and the devil will make that horrible sick person PAY for what he has done to you and your family. My heart goes out to you all. God Bless.

Jul. 24 2011 05:25 AM
Matt H from Port Washington

Typo in last graph. "nothing" should read "noting".

Jul. 21 2011 09:56 AM

It seems entirely plausible that Levi was supposed to be on the anti-psychotic drugs, being that he is a psychopath, so that would explain why he had them in the house. As for the muscle relaxants and pain killers, I wouldn't know.
One thing is for sure, he knows right from wrong, and there was certainly premeditation involved. That is what the DA said too. I sure hope that the insanity plea fails and justice is served.

Jul. 20 2011 07:51 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

This man is a predator. Plain and simple. The medications he had in his house perhaps facilitated his disgusting deed. But make no mistake, he would have done this regardless of the drugs that are too "easily" doled out. Predators always find a way.

Luckily he's been caught and now serve his sentence and be kept away from the rest of us human beings.

Jul. 20 2011 07:18 PM
Liz from NJ

Am I living in some past universe or is it uncommon to have all of these drugs (except the Tylenol) lying around the house? Clearly he was being treated (the antipsychotic) but also to have muscle relaxers and prescription pain medication? Were these all given by the same doctor?

I'm always a little stunned when I hear about all of the prescription medication doctors give out, presumably, when someone comes in complaining of a back ache or headache. Except for a drug to help with migraines, I don't think there is anything but OTC medications in our home that you could buy at a local drug store.

I know that's not the main point of this article, I'm just always surprised at how much drugs like oxycontin are passed out like aspirin.

Jul. 20 2011 03:04 PM

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