An 8-year-old Borough Park boy who vanished after leaving day camp was drugged with a muscle relaxant and other medications before being smothered to death by a 35-year-old Brooklyn man, authorities said Wednesday.
The medical examiner's results after an autopsy of Leiby Kletzky came as a Brooklyn grand jury indicted Levi Aron on eight counts, including two charges of murder. The findings released Wednesday show that Leiby was intoxicated before he died, officials said.
His body parts were found last week in a Borough Park trash bin and in a refrigerator inside Aron's apartment. According to the indictment, Aron abducted Leiby after a chance encounter with the child on July 11, when the young boy became lost while walking home from a day camp in Borough Park. Aron took the child to his apartment on 466 E. Second St. in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, where he killed him, the indictment charged.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Wednesday that Leiby's parents were notified of the indictment, but he declined to characterize their reaction.
Police eventually used surveillance tapes to identify Aron and track him to his home, where early on July 13 he indicated to detectives that he dismembered the child, putting his remains in his refrigerator and also in a suitcase dumped in a trash bin some 2 miles away in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said investigators don't have a clear motive for the crime, but police have said Aron told them that he killed the child in a panic when he realized how large a search was under way for the boy in the Borough Park community.
Hynes said investigators believe Aron took Leiby by car to upstate Monsey, where he was attending a wedding reception. A gas station attendant on the route to Monsey said he saw Leiby use a bathroom, Hynes said. Police said witnesses reported seeing Aron at the wedding reception in Spring Valley, but not the child. Asked when Leiby was killed, Hynes said prosecutors had an open period of time but wouldn't elaborate. Hynes reiterated that there was no evidence of sexual abuse.
Earlier in the day, the city's chief medical examiner, Charles Hirsch, said Leiby was intoxicated by a mix of a muscle relaxant (cyclobenzaprine), an antipsychotic (quetiapine), the pain killer hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The child was then smothered, Hirsch said.
Aron, who faces life in prison, is currently in a special psychiatric wing of Bellevue Hospital Center. His defense attorneys indicated they plan to pursue an insanity defense. "It was expected," defense attorney Gerard Marrone said after news of the indictment.
The case is slated for arraignment on July 28, Hynes said.