What to Know
- Levi Aron was convicted of killing and dismembering 8-year-old Lieby Kletzky in 2011; he's serving decades in prison
- The body of a man who may be a brother of Aron was found duct-taped in the basement of a Brooklyn home, source said
- The brother has been missing since Tuesday of this week, according to sources
A body found in Brooklyn may be a brother of child-killer Levi Aron, who is serving decades in prison for kidnapping, killing and dismembering a young boy in 2011, law enforcement sources say.
Relatives found the body duct-taped and wrapped in a sheet in the basement closet of a home on East 2nd Street in Kensington Heights, the sources said.
A brother who called 911 after the discovery of the body mentioned the "butcher of Brooklyn," a nickname given to Aron after the killing, according to sources.
Police have not identified the body, but they believe it to be a brother of Aron, who has been missing since Tuesday, according to sources, who cautioned the information is preliminary.
The sources said police are treating the death as a homicide, given how the body was found. But no evidence of foul play has been found and a medical examiner will determine how the man died.
The East 2nd Street home was blocked off with crime scene tape on Friday afternoon — an eerily familiar scene, given that part of the dismembered body of 8-year-old Lieby Kletzky was found in the home in 2011.
"I just remember the fact, the incident that happened, we were all just alarmed then too," neighbor Mahmoud Bhuiyan said.
Neighbor Betty Perri said the man who lived at the home was a very nice person.
"He would be maybe sweeping, or polishing a car or something, he was always doing something good," Perri said.
Aron admitted to kidnapping, killing and dismembering Kletzky in 2011. He said he killed him after the boy asked for directions. He pleaded guilty in August 2012 and eventually struck a deal to serve 40 years to life in prison.
Kletzky got lost on his way to day camp in July 2011. It was the first time he was allowed to walk alone, and he was supposed to travel about seven blocks to meet his mother but missed his turn.
Aron took the boy upstate to Monsey, N.Y., where he attended a wedding before bringing Kletzky to his apartment. When he noticed fliers with the boy's photo, he says he panicked, suffocated the boy and dismembered him.
About 33 hours later, detectives found the boy's severed feet, wrapped in plastic, in Aron's freezer. A cutting board and three bloody carving knives were found in the refrigerator. The rest of the boy's body was discovered in bags inside a red suitcase in a trash bin about a mile from Aron's apartment. His legs had been cut from his torso.
The medical examiner's office said Kletzky had been drugged then suffocated.
Aron, a hardware store clerk, pleaded to lesser charges in a deal that spared him a criminal trial and the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Kletzky was Hasidic, an ultra-Orthodox version of Judaism, and the killing shook the tight-knit community in Borough Park, a safe and somewhat insular neighborhood and home to one of the world's largest communities of Orthodox Jews outside Israel. Aron, who lived nearby, was Orthodox but not Hasidic.
A psychiatric evaluation obtained by The Associated Press said Aron was confused and apathetic, a "practically blank" personality whose younger sister died while institutionalized with schizophrenia.
The court-ordered evaluation of Aron found him fit to stand trial on murder charges in the death of Kletzky. Details in the report from a psychiatrist and psychologist at Kings County Hospital showed he was deeply troubled, and had given authorities conflicting accounts of his life and his mental and physical history.
A psychologist diagnosed him with an adjustment disorder and a personality disorder with schizoid features.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disintegration of thought processes and diminished emotional responsiveness. A person is more likely to have it if a close family member, such as his sister who died, has it.
"His mood is neutral, practically blank," the psychologist wrote. "The only time he seems to show any emotional response is when he is asked difficult questions about the reason for his incarceration."
An autopsy on the boy found he had been given several drugs, including quetiapine, which is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.
The evaluation offers little details on a possible motive and does not delve much into the crime. Aron admitted knowing the charges against him are serious, and acknowledged that people are angry with him.