NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 15-year-old is dead after plunging from a fifth floor fire escape, authorities said.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, the mystery for investigators is to find out why the boy, in his pajamas, chose to crawl through his window, out onto the fire escape at 6 a.m.
Relatives of Leonardo Marmolejos said when the boy’s mother checked in on him around 1 a.m. Thursday, it was the last time anyone saw him conscious.
“It’s a shame to have that happen to such a young guy,” neighbor Abby Ruiz said.
Neighbors heard a loud noise around 6 a,m, and those who investigated found the boy in his pajamas on the ground of a courtyard under the fire escape of the apartment building at the corner of Briggs Avenue and East 199th Street.
Investigators believe he fell five stories after crawling out his window onto the fire escape for an unknown reason.
He was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital.
“You don’t go near the window for nothing, just stay away from the window because moments like this are just something I don’t want to ever have to endure and my heart goes out to the family that has to really endure this at the moment,” Tenisha Rodriguez said.
“I don’t feel like anybody should be hanging out on the fire escapes, especially on high floors, it’s very dangerous,” Keven Ventura said.
Relatives said he was quiet, enjoyed school, and spent a lot of his time playing video games inside the home he shared with his mom and two sisters.
When the boy’s father arrived on the scene he did not know his son had passed.
“He’s in critical condition,” he said at the time.
He was understandably distraught upon hearing the news.
Neighbor Johana Cabrera said she was with him and her own father who was the one who told the man his son had died.
“In shock, my father is trying to calm him down. It was really hard, he was just living, starting with his life, this is so sad, I can’t imagine,” he said.
Family members told CBS2 the boy was in good spirits and recently had a birthday. They hope the findings of the medical examiner’s report will clue them in on why it happened.