Leibby Kletzky, a nine year old boy, went missing Monday after day camp. The boy told his parents that he wanted to walk home alone, “he was a big boy.” We’ve all heard that from our children at one time or another. The parents agreed to the boy’s request and he had a specific path to walk where his mother had planned on meeting him. It should be said that this family lives in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community. That fact lead the parents to feel somewhat secure in trusting their son would be safe walking the streets there. It’s a tight knit community, and until most New York City communities, the people who live there know one another. So when Leibby went missing Monday it affect everyone.
A massive volunteer group, of 1,000 to 2,000 people, formed to help police find the missing boy. There were surveillance cameras in local businesses that captured part of the boy’s walk home. He has not been on the path designated by his mother. At some point between when the cameras last captured him and the location where he was to meet his mother, he disappeared. A detailed description immediately went out to the news media. Police used helicopters, dogs and horses to try to find the boy. A reward of $100,000 was offered by the community for information. It was later raised to $125,000.
Early this morning the boy was found dead. A suspect has been arrested. Parts of the boy’s body was found in his apartment, parts were found in a suitcase in a nearby dumpster. He was brutally murdered. One of the security tapes shows the boy appearing to be speaking to a man in a gold car. He was supposed to meet his mother a mere three blocks away. Leibby was never seen again.
Just 48 hours ago Leibby was getting ready to go to summer camp, now his parents have to arrange his funeral. What makes matters worse, is that the suspect lived among them, and maybe was even part of their community. More details will surface after police conduct their questioning of the suspect.
I get sick over the thought of what this little boy must have gone through at the hands of this monster. I an haunted by what his last moments must have been like. What torture did he inflict on him before he murdered and dismembered his body? Was the boy crying out for his mother? That’s the way it plays in my mind. And what about the poor grief stricken parents? The devastating news of what happened to their young son will haunt them forever. Maybe they will be guilt ridden for giving in to his request to walk home alone on top of the grief of losing him in such an unspeakable manner. Thank God they have a family type of community to help support them and pray for them through this tragic ordeal. They are going to need all the help they can get.
As for the monster who did this, I wonder, can this be his first victim? Who does such vile, sick things to an innocent child? There is no punishment severe enough that will ever do justice to what that poor boy and his family have gone through and will continue to go through.
So many times we have “signs” from individuals that they are mentally unstable, but it’s only after they harm one or more people, do we take action. I wonder if this suspect has a criminal record or a mental illness history? We are always putting these people back on the streets, there is a shortage of places to keep them. The jails are overcrowded and the mental hospitals are too. So they get out early, without being rehabilitated or “cured” only to pose a new threat to society.
Today, I’ll be praying for Leibby and his parents. As a parent, I can only imagine the depths of their despair and grief.