NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Levi Aron, accused of killing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky of Borough Park one week ago, is expected to be indicted this week.
On Monday morning, more boxes of evidence were collected and removed from Aron’s Kensington, Brooklyn home. Over the weekend, investigators took dozens of pieces of evidence, including furniture and his car.
Authorities were busy not only at Aron’s home, allegedly where the murder happened, but in other places in the country. Using Aron’s DNA, police were investigating whether he may be connected to any other cases of child abuse — or worse.
Investigators are fanning out to Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida. In all those places he either married or was engaged to single Jewish women.
“We’re gathering as much forensic evidence as we can,” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.
Forensic DNA expert Lawrence Kobilinsky said it’s obvious to him what cops are up to.
“It’s rather unusual for a stellar citizen to jump to the point of murdering a child and dismembering the body,” Kobilinsky said. “I think the police feel that there may be other victims.”
Kobilinsky said cops are likely using a chemical called Luminol to test what they’ve taken for the presence of blood.
“This is a chemical that will react, give off light in the presence of blood,” explained Kobilinsky. “So they are looking for the presence of blood spatter throughout the house and they’re taking various items of furniture where there may be evidence of other victims.”
Anything recovered can be tested against a database of DNA from missing children.
Hynes said that the evidence that was being taken from Aron’s house will be part of the murder indictment against him, which will be unsealed this week.
“We will ask for the main charge of felony murder, based on the kidnapping, which is murder in the first degree,” Hynes said.
Police said Kletzky got lost when leaving day camp, and asked the wrong man for directions. Kletzky was killed and his dismembered body was found in two different Brooklyn locations.
Congressman Michael Grimm, whose Staten Island district also covers a part of Brooklyn, was an FBI agent.
“The very first thing that crossed my mind is that we had a psychopath on our hands. And that there could possibly be more bodies out there,” Grimm told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
Aron, 35, has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital and his attorneys are reportedly considering an insanity defense.
“It would be hard to fathom an individual actually committing an act such as this, without some sort of deranged or mental imbalance, so a psychiatric defense is a possibility,” said Pierre Bazile, Aron’s attorney.
But Murray Richman, who has been practicing law for 47 years, said it comes down to a simple question: does the person know right from wrong when the crime is committed?
Richman said Hynes’ team will tell the judge that by not coming to police with the boy, by hiding the boy and by trying to cover the crime up, it proves Aron knew what he did was wrong.
Richman said Aron will be examined by two separate psychiatrists who won’t consult with each other.
“And each have to independently come to a conclusion, that he’s incapable of standing trial,” said Richman.
But he said that doesn’t happen often. Even mentally dubious suspects usually go to trial.
Kobilinsky said he believes Aron is disturbed, perhaps even psychotic, and anyone who recalls seeing him act suspiciously should report it to police.
“People should have seen something going on in his past,” said Kobilinsky. “It’s very unusual for them to go completely unnoticed in society, so my suspicion is there is a history here that needs to be opened up and studied.”
Yosef Moskowitz said he knew Aron growing up and that he seemed normal, but that as he got older, he seemed to grow socially awkward.
“He needed help. He really needed psychiatric help. And somewhere along the line, people, the family maybe missed it,” he said.
“This is brutality. This is ugliness. This is everything that is bad in this world,”Assemblyman Dov Hikind added.
This week will also mark the end of the shiva which Leiby’s family has been sitting for the last seven days. Family and friends have been coming by their apartment, trying to comfort them. They also want to provide them with a sense of strength to get through what could be a difficult few weeks as details emerge about what happened to their son.
“God should give them relief, and hopefully that they should be able to continue in life and raise the rest of their family, and participate in their happiness and their joy and happy times together,” said family friend Yosroel Friedman.
If Levi Aron is convicted, what would the appropriate punsihment in this case? Prison, therapy or something else? Sound off in our comments section.