NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police reduced their presence at accused killer Levi Aron’s home Friday night, carting off bags of evidence and leaving the backyard riddled with shallow holes.
“They’re looking for every evidence,” neighbor Tanin Mohammed told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
The home is expected to remain under police guard for the foreseeable future as a Brooklyn grand jury prepares a murder indictment that could be issued some time next week.
Aron has already pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping charges.
Investigators did not reveal what was found at the man’s home. Each new piece of evidence, however, fleshes out the personality profile of the man who lived alone following his divorce from a Memphis woman and before that an Israeli woman. Both marriages were brief.
No violent criminal history has turned up, but police are still trying to determine what possessed the suspect to allegedly take a lost boy off the streets in the first place.
It was a full-court press Friday for clues in the place where police said 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was murdered. Aron is accused of picking up Kletzky on a Brooklyn street, taking him home, smothering him and butchering his body.
Neighbors wondered about the horror that might have visited their lives.
“My son goes to school right here every day. That’s the entrance I take him in and out of for kindergarten and first grade and here this guy is — this animal over here,” Hiram Segarra told CBS 2’s Lou Young.
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Neighbors believe Aron suffered a head injury as a small child and had counseling for behavioral problems.
“I think there’s something being hidden,” Betty Perri said.
Aron has also been ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He is being held in protective custody and is being kept under suicide watch. His attorney said his client hallucinates and hears voices.
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Aron has written a confession which ended with “I’m sorry for the hurt that I caused,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Police said he has admitted to suffocating Kletzky with a bath towel.
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On the way to his arraignment Thursday, Aron was greeted by shouts of “kill the murderer!” from a crowd outside the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, where he was being held.
Thursday, police disclosed that Aron had wounds that suggested that Kletzky may have struggled with him. They said Aron had scratches on his wrists and arms.
Police are also looking at video of a wedding that Aron may have attended the night before he said he killed Kletzky.
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Kletzky’s family is now in a week-long period of mourning, known as Shiva. During this period, friends and supporters will gather around the Kletzky’s family to lend their condolences, supply food and offer whatever comfort and commiseration they can.
“We all cry and cry and can’t stop crying for the loss of the family and the child,” one woman told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
“I don’t think there was a dry eye. When I heard about it, I just literally started crying and felt so bad for the family,” Rabbi Ari Pollack said.
Jonathan Schwartz said his son was a friend of Kletzky and tried to explain the death to his child.
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“I said God loves kids and we don’t understand why God did it. Obviously I didn’t give him all the details of what happened,” Schwartz said.
Visitors to the Kletzky family are being greeted by a sign at the door of their Borough Park apartment building thanking them for their thoughts and prayers.
“We are forever grateful to God. We would also like to express to each and every individual, to our friends and neighbors and fellow New Yorkers and to all the volunteers…and to all from around the world who had us in their thoughts and prayers, from the depths of our mourning hearts, thank you,” the sign read.
If convicted of killing Leiby Kletzky, what is the appropriate punishment in this case? Do you think Levi Aron is insane? Sound off in our comments section.