Levi Aron admitted in court on Thursday to kidnapping eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky off the street last summer, holding him captive and chopping up his body, the New York Daily News reported.
Aron, who agreed to a guilty plea that will send him to prison for 40 years to life, recounted how he abducted little Leiby last July 11 in a crime that shocked the city.
The 36-year-old man spoke just above a whisper as he answered a judge’s questions about the gruesome crime. Aron, who looked groggy, stared forward and gave monosyllabic answers.
Asked by the judge what he did after realizing the boy was dead, Aron answered, “Got rid of the body. I put it in the suitcase.”
He confessed to picking up the boy, who was walking alone from camp for the first time. He kept Leiby in his apartment for more than a day, even driving him to a Rockland County wedding. But he panicked upon realizing a massive search for the boy was underway.
He then tied up Leiby and took a towel from the kitchen.
“What did you do with that towel?” asked the judge.
“Smothered him,” replied Aron, who admitted to chopping up the body, putting the remains in a suitcase and dumping it in a dumpster. Police found the boy's feet in Aron's freezer.
Aron is set to be sentenced Aug. 29, according to the Daily News.
Leiby’s parents, Nachman and Esther Kletzky, said in a statement Nachman and Esther Kletzky, “There is no way one can comprehend or understand the unspeakable pain of losing a child. But today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy.”
The parents thanked prosecutors for quickly resolving the case without subjecting them to a painful trial, adding that they're thankful to their community and to G-d for helping them deal with the unimaginable trauma.
"May our son's soul rest in peace and continue to advocate in heaven for all of mankind," they said.
Last month, Leiby's father filed a lawsuit against not only Levi Aron, but against his father Jack as well. After Aron kidnapped Leiby as he walked home from day camp, Levi Aron held him in an attic apartment in the family home. The lawsuit against Jack Aron charges him with maintaining “dangerous and deadly conditions” in the attic, and failing to prevent Leiby's kidnapping, or discover him after he was taken.