(CBS/WCBS/AP) NEW YORK - As the hearse carrying Leiby Kletzky's body made its way to a final goodbye, thousands of people parted in silence. It was a final, respectful bow to a boy who allegedly trusted a stranger and died because of it.
"It's a shock, a shock. Nobody can believe it," one mourner at Wednesday night's funeral told CBS station WCBS.
Thousands of people turned out to mourn the boy's death and pay their respects. Even blocks away, the crowds spilled into the streets.
The boy's sisters and mother entered the temple school first, then came Leiby. His casket was lifted above the crowd, which was stunned by how he died.
Three rabbis spoke at the funeral service. The boy's father also spoke briefly, thanking God for such a "beautiful child" with a "beautiful soul." The boy's burial will be in Laurel Park, N.J.
Kletzky is the only son in a family of five children and he would have turned 9 this month.
An intense two-day search for the missing Brooklyn boy ended with the arrest of 35-year-old Levi Aron, after the boy's dismembered body was found in two different locations by police. Aron was charged with murder Tuesday evening.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Aron panicked after seeing flyers of Kletzky around the neighborhood and killed the boy. When investigators arrived at the home, they found the door slightly ajar and asked where the boy was; Aron nodded to the kitchen. There, they found blood on the refrigerator handle.
Detectives found the other half of Kletzky's remains wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag inside a red suitcase in a dumpster in Sunset Park, about two miles from Aron's home.