On Thursday, a bearded and yarmulke-clad Levi Aron finally pleaded guilty in front of Brooklyn judge Neil Firetog for kidnapping , killing, and dismembering the body of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky last year. The Chassidic boy from Borough Park was walking home from camp by himself for the first time when he made a wrong turn on his way and encountered Aron, never to return home.
Aron will be sentenced to 25 years for murder as well as an additional 15 years for kidnapping. Although Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes vowed that there would be no plea bargain after the killer was arrested last year, he relented to the request of the Kletzkys in order to avoid a long and likely emotionally agonizing trial where the family would be required to recall the horrific details of the case.
In the wake of Aron’s guilty plea, Leiby’s parents Nachman and Esther Kletzky, issued a statement revealing their immense pain, and affirming their faith in God despite the tragic loss of their son. They also thanked those who have offered support. Below is the full transcript of the statement, provided by Yeshiva World News:
Everything in the world is from G-d. Everything that happens is His will. We all have challenges, but G-d gives us the strength to overcome these challenges. My wife Esther, our children and I all understand that our role in this life is to do good and to continue on with even greater strength. We have made it until now only with G-d’s help — for that I thank G-d with all my heart.
There is no way one can comprehend or understand the pain of losing a child. Esther and I faced this unspeakable tragedy last year when our little boy Leiby was ruthlessly taken from us.
Today my family has finally received some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare. Closure does not mean we don’t continue to feel the pain. A day doesn’t pass without our thinking of Leiby — but today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy and seek to remember only the gifts that G-d has bestowed, including the nine years Leiby was with us. May our son’s soul rest in peace and continue to advocate in Heaven for all mankind.
We want to thank first and foremost our community, and more specifically our special congregation and friends for being there for us in trying times. We thank Rabbi Eisenberger for his continual wisdom and self-sacrifice on our behalf, which has made such a difference to our family.
We want to thank D.A. Hynes and his team for bringing this to a quick resolution, as we requested — for not forcing us to relive the terror that began when Leiby went missing. The three days of uncertainty were unbearable, but our community led a tireless search and allowed us the comfort of at least knowing the truth of our child’s fate. We were permitted to lay our son to rest.
We are thankful to the many who shared our pain. We heard from people from across the world and from all walks of life, and we took comfort from your sincere care and support.
Most of all, we are grateful to G-d for giving us Leiby and our other children.
We want to stress this one point because it is so vital that everyone understands: G-d did not abandon our son nor our family for even one second. He was with Leiby; He is with us. This is what we believe with all our hearts.
May G-d bring the final Redemption soon, when all suffering will be removed from mankind and we will be reunited with Leiby and with all our loved ones.
Nachman and Esther Kletzky