30 Hours and Counting: Thousands Searching for Missing Boro Park Boy Who Never Returned Home


leiby-kletzky[Multiple updates below. Video links and photos below. Tehillim commitments in comments section. Surveillance video below.] Monday, 11:36 p.m. EST: Shomrim volunteers from around Brooklyn, NY, are in the midst of an mid-night comprehensive search effort for a young boy who never returned home after attending day camp today.

Nine-year-old Leiby Kletzky of Boro Park, Brooklyn, was dismissed from the Boyaner Boys Day Camp on 44th Street, between 12th and 13th Avenue, today shortly before 5 p.m. He was spotted on surveillance video proceeding up 13th Avenue but hasn’t been seen since.

Shomrim volunteers tell Matzav.com that Leiby was  was wearing dark sneakers, navy pants, and a blue  gray-and-white striped shirt. He has light brown hair and wears glasses.

The New York City Police Department has joined the frantic search and the Boro Park Shomrim have formed a command center to handle the activity.

The public is asked to daven for the safe and quick return of Yehudah ben Itta Esther.

Click here for video of the search command center.

Click here and here for additional videos.

Update, Tuesday, 7: 23 a.m. EST:

The search continues for Leiby, who has yet to be found. There is a mass communal effort to find the boy, with dozens of volunteers search-for-leiby-kletzkybeing dispatched across Boro Park and Flatbush. The search will intensify in the next couple of hours as stores open and camps begin their day.

To join the search and to provide information, call Boro Park Shomrom Patrol at 718-871-6666.

Update, 9:15 a.m. EST:

Leiby has been missing for over 12 hours. Leiby, we are told, was supposed to meet his mother at 5 p.m. on Monday after leaving his Boyaner Day Camp but never showed up.

Those with the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol said they’ve seen the aforemented surveillance video that shows the little boy leaving the camp, but there was no sign of him otherwise.

It’s unclear if Leiby’s disappearance is suspicious.

2,000 people are searching for Leiby, checking every backyard, every front yard, every possibility, said search coordinator Shi Lichtenstein. Foul play has not been ruled out.

Update, 10:18 a.m. EST: Assemblyman Dov Hikind has released the following statement: The Assemblyman is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the safe return of nine-year-old boy Leibby Kletzky who never returned home from Boyan Day Camp located at 44th Street between 12th and 13th Avenues after camp ended yesterday. The boy was last seen on surveillance footage at 13th Avenue until 50th Street. According to published reports, Leibby was last seen wearing “a grey and light blue striped shirt, navy pants, black sneakers and a knapsack bearing the words “Nechmod Day Camp” at the time of his disappearance.”

“This is every parent’s and every community’s worst nightmare,” said Hikind. “Anyone with credible information of Leibby’s whereabouts should immediately contact the authorities. NYPD and the Shomrim are working in tandem to bring about Leibby’s safe return.”

Hikind praised the tremendous efforts of the NYPD; the Boro Park, Flatbush, and Williamsburg Shomrim; as well as hundreds of volunteers who have been combing the area searching for Leibby since last night. The Shomrim have set up a command center at 15th Avenue and 57th Street.

Anyone with information is urged to immediately contact the police desk at 718-851-5641 or the Shomrim at 718-871-6666.

“Somebody had to have seen something,” remarked Hikind. “Even the tiniest detail that may seem irrelevant to you could be a vital piece of information.”

Update, 11:37 a.m. EST: Assemblyman Hikind has now been joined by two anonymous community leaders, raising the offered reward to $25,000 for anyone with information leading to the safe return of nine-year-old boy Leibby Kletzky who never returned home from Boyan Day Camp located at 44th Street between 12th and 13th Avenues after camp ended yesterday. According to published reports, Leibby was last seen wearing “a grey and light blue striped shirt, navy pants, black sneakers and a knapsack bearing the words “Nechmod Day Camp” at the time of his disappearance.”

“I continue to encourage anyone with credible information to please come forward,” pleaded Hikind. “This could easily be your child or grandchild. Help us to help find Leibby and bring him home safe and sound.”

Anyone with information is urged to immediately contact the police desk at 718-851-5641 or the Shomrim at 718-871-6666.

Update: 2:20 p.m. EST: The reward for information leading to the missing boy is now $100,000 as two anonymous community leaders have joined in opening their wallets in the hopes that the large sum will entice someone to come forward with info.

See below for photos of the search:

Update: 4:35 p.m. EST: Almost 24 hours have passed since Leiby Kletzky was last seen, but thus far, thousands of volunteers have come up empty. All are asked to continue davening and learning as a zechus that Leiby will be found safe and sound, soon.

Update, 6:23 p.m. EST: There have been rumors spreading across the internet via Twitter, Facebook and other sites. Virtually all of the rumors are false. Shomrim coordinators tell Matzav.com that, unfortunately, there is not much info to report at this time.

Furthermore, there have been conflicting reports regarding the credibility of claims that Leiby was idenitified in surveillance video shortly after he had left the Boyaner Day Camp. We are told that Leiby was indeed seen on video obtained by police, but it is unclear what value, if any, it will have as the desperate search continues.

The search continues to be manned from the Shomrim Command post at 15th Avenue and 57th Street in the heart of Boro Park.

Members of Lakewood’s Civilian Safety Watch, Williamsburg Shomrim, Flatbush Shomrim, and others are participating in the ongoing search as evening approached.

Stay with Matzav.com for continuing coverage of this story.

Update, 8:00 p.m. EST: The search has been extended to include the Flatbush area, with a Shomrim Command Center established at Avenue M and East 12th Street, off of Coney Island Avenue.

Update 8:40 p.m. EST: Click below to watch surveillance video taken at 18th Avenue and 44th Street, the last time Leiby was spotted.

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{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. hiii! i am sooo sorry! i am staying up saying tehillim. my heart goes out for this little boy and his family.may hashem grant him a safe and speedy return. amen!!

  2. they should be check the roofs of all schools and houses and shuls and stores
    and also they should be checking definitely in da train stations and train cars on route

  3. To everyone who is trying to be helpful and suggesting Amber Alert:

    First, trust me, the authorities know about this service.

    Second, Amber Alert is used when there is reasonable belief that a child has been abducted and there is enough information available for the public to spot the suspect or vehicle.

  4. Oi this is so so worrying, as a mother I can’t help but cry bitter tears for this boy! I hope he’s safe, and just walked the wrong way or something, its so scary to think of anything else.

  5. A Facebook post by Kristin Thorne, a reporter for CBS News states “I’ve never seen such a community effort to find a missing child.”

  6. no time to cry!

    please go yourself, or convince your father/son/brother to go to the command center and offer help

    help is still needed at large, alot of streets have not been covered!

  7. ???? ????? ??????? ???? ????? :

    ???? ???? ?? ??? ??”? ?????? ???? (?”?)
    ????? !!!!!! 10:53 12/07/2011

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    ????? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ?’ ?????? …
    ???? ?’ ????? ??? ?? ??? ”?” ????? ??? ????? ???’ ,
    ?????? ????? ?”? ?????? , ???? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? , ????? ?? ??? ?? ????? , ????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ???? , ??? ?????? ??? ??? ???????? ????? , ????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ????? .

    ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ????? ? ???? ??? ??? ?

  8. there will be a minyan at the kosel back right corner by the bimas and shtenders at 8 pm Israeli time please come and say tehilim with us

  9. L’fee Hasaichel The search should be concentrated along the route that this boy normally takes with no stone unturned thats if there was no foul play which we hope there wasn’t but if yes then thats a very difficult police situation
    if everyone is mekabel to do one thing better today then H’KBH will answer our tefilos

  10. State Assemblyman Dov Hikind is offering $5,000 to anyone with information leading to the boy’s safe return.

    Anyone with information on the case should contact the the Shomrim Patrol at 1-718-871-6666 or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. They can also reach Crime Stoppers by texting CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visiting http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

  11. where is the AMBER ALERT? “our child” went missing at 5pm yesterday…this alert was issued yesterday: “The child was last observed at approximately 6:30 PM in the area of the 300 block of Gwynn Ave in Baltimore City, MD.” i dont understand…where’s the amber alert…i dont get it…

  12. Can someone in an official capacity let us know if more volunteers are still needed? I would be able to bring a group from Lakewood, but I don’t want to get in the way. Let me know ASAP

  13. Glad number 22 has it all worked out! I will also predict the weather for the anticipated release on Yom Revi’i. K’nir’eh it will be partly cloudy with a chance of precipitation!

  14. People should be checking elevators in the buildings!
    Maybe he got stuck in one!

    People who have good relationship/connections with the hispanic/black/Russian community should perhaps ask Shomrim if the should reach out to them they might know of something that they are withholding- for someone of their own race they might be more open- example:Hispanic individual to another Hispanic individual_ people in different communites speak a different language

    Not trying to jump to any conclusions- maybe this boy stumbled on a gang activity or something!

    Right now the thing for us to do is Daven, give Tzeddakah- There is a tremendous Kiddush Hashem in the outpouring of support from the frum oilam and it makes me so proud to be part of Am hanivchar- in that Zechus may Leiby be found/returned safe Bekarov!

  15. i dont get it how many people still searching.
    for who and how?
    they dont know any info on the child his charcter so how they could search for him

  16. klal yisroel-on all levels-needs to come together with unity in order for mashiach to come. perhaps this is why this is happening LOOK AT THE ACHDUS & DEVOTION OF ALL THE VOLUNTEERS.

  17. May he return safely and well to his parents very quickly with Hashem’s help! Article says: “public is asked to daven for the safe and quick return of Yehudah ben Itta Esther”

  18. I hope all the volunteer searchers are getting training before they go out. They could be walking around looking for obvious signs of the kid, when he might be in a car or obscure place that they pass by.

  19. 55-62

    matzav – mayb you should put a message at the top to post for tehillim – since not everyone looks all the way down at all the comments

  20. Please go over the registry to see if there are any registered molesters or predators in that area, Hashem Yishmor but there are sick people out there and some roaming free.

  21. 56-58 inclusive. Vishavu Banim Ligvulum,
    May he be found swiftly, safely, in good health,without any harm.

  22. 50-63 inclusive

    editor – maybe you should write in the article to post a comment for tehillim – not everyoine goes to the bottom of all the comments.

  23. 56-66 inclusive…may we hear good news immediately.
    Yehuda ben Itta Esther’s name was given in to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel to be daavened for there.





  25. I just heard that the boys father had recently recieved death threats from a goyisher worker unhappy with him, I was wondering if this is true? If anybody heard about this? My heart goes out to the boy, his parents, I’ve done alot of davening with tears for him, and thilim, e.t.c.

  26. Offering a reward is bad. kidnappers see such amounts of money for Jewish children, who is next?? At what price??

  27. How about Machson Lpi watching what we are
    I will take two hours from 5-7 now anyone else.
    No loshon Hora no raging Bizchus YEHUDA BEN ITA ESTHER

  28. So far we have 5-to 7 & 7-to 9 tonight
    4 hours any one else even a half hour is good preferably an hour is best Thanks for joining may it be a zechus for Yehuda ben Ita Esther

  29. there was a abt 30 guys by the kosel we said tehilim for a half hour from 9-930. Hope everything turns out all right.

  30. bezschus rabeinu na nach nachma nachman meuman leiby should be found and returned home safely… na nach nachma nachman meuman

  31. Can everyone within the neighborhood who has a surveillance camera go watch the past 24 hours and try to see if they spot anything on their cameras.

  32. If people are interested in dividing up and saying kapitlach tehilim, call this #1-646-764-6152 to receive a chelek to say. Thanks for all the tfilos and may we hear besuros tovos very soon!!!

  33. we wish the parents a lot a lot a lot of strength and that their lovely son Leiby should be back with them very, very soon
    ch. and l. hoffman from london

  34. At this point it would seem that the search effort would be focused on finding the abductor.
    Its seems very unlikely that a 9 yr old boy would be lost for this long.

    May we all hear b’suros tovos shortly.

  35. My God Bless this little boy and bring him home safely. Whether you are jewish, or of another faith, I am catholic, I pray that this child be found safe and sound. No parent or indivdual wants to see a child missing

  36. CCHF If Chas V’Shalom, the missing boy is not found by 10:45 PM EDT, there will be a special Tehillim Teleconference
    Please call the Chazak Inspiration Line at 718-258-2008 prompt 9 and then 9, to join the Tehillim Teleconference at 10:45 PM for

    Yehuda ben Ita Esther (Leiby) Kletzky.

    We hope that B’ezras Hashem, he will be found by that time.

  37. Whoever has video surveillance around their house or business – even if you don’t live in BP – should look at it.

  38. why are you saying that the rumors are false when the father was taken away in an unmarked car for questioning?

  39. Care and steps should be taken to protect other children until we find him I”YH.
    Lets hope for the best! Hashem Yirachem oleinu.

  40. Great progress so far we have from five to 11
    and one at one in the morning. Yes we can take
    it for the middle of the night as well. let it be a zechus until he is found

  41. It seems to me from the surveillance video that the boy is waiting at the sidewalk and when a man in a white shirt and tie passes near him he suddenly turns around and follows him. This can be sen in both cameras. Did anyone else mention this?

    For a boy that know his mother is waiting a block away, he doesn’t seem in a hurry to get there. Anyone notice this?

  42. “9. Comment from Anonymous
    Time July 12, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Which Kletzky family is this?”

    The poor parents are tearing their hair out with worry while the anonymous (as always) #4 is busy playing Jewish Geography!

    Just how many Kletzky families can there be?

  43. check what other boys, if any, didn’t show up at his camp this morning– possibly 2 or 3 went off together (boyish impulse to camp or explore)…

  44. I know this might sound funny but it has always worked for us. When something is lost, we put money into Rav Meir Baal Haness’ Pushkah. If each person puts in, the zchus will surely help.

  45. Attention to all volunteers : a segulah that is proven to work to find a lost item/object or C”V a person – to say ” Omar R Binyomin , Hakoil Becheskas Sumin AD SheHKB”H Mareh es Eineihem , Min Hocho , shenemar ,Vayikach Elokim es Eineho Umatza es Hacheimos”

    Brocho Vhatzlocho IYH!

  46. It is crystal clear from the first surviellance video that the kid made a 180 following the dude with the white pants and beird, and it also seemed as if they were running.
    In the 2nd video he is following the very same dude.

    In the beggining of the 1rst video that dude was standing at the corner across the street. He crossed the street going toward the right side of the screen and cut a very sharp left toward the kids direction.

    Who is he? Where did he come from? Why was the kid following him?

  47. The kid def made eye contact with that dude and it seems as if the dude spoke to him before the kid started running with him………..

  48. The video suggests the boy was expecting to meet this man, since when he sees the man head toward the right (the man’s left) the boy turns the corner and begins walking toward him. When they meet the man appears to speak to him, maybe to give him instructions to follow him, which the boy does.

  49. Everyone should give money to Reb Meir Baal Hanes and say the tfilla “Amar Rabi Binyomin…”
    May Hakadosh Baruch Hu bring Yehuda ben Itta Esther back home safely and quickly.

  50. Also in the video the boy is standing still at the corner, perhaps watching the man across the street. When the man begins to cross, at the same moment the boy begins to move toward him.

  51. #139, Dave, after watching it again, I did see it! It appears as if the boy is waiting for that man and when he sees him, he walks towards him and then follows him. The man walks a few steps ahead and Leib follows. It didn’t just happen, it might have been prearranged.

  52. Why can’t a computer altered image be created, removing the boy’s peyos, yarlmuike and glasses (similar to what they do for age-progression images in other missing children cases), and then distributed to an expanded search area in case chas v’sholom he has been transported elsewhere?
    This would be VERY helpful, especiallly for possible sightings by people OUTSIDE the community, as outsiders tend to be distracted by the sight of peyos etc. and would not recognize him if chas v’sholom his appearance has been changed.

  53. Or possibly the child saw a frum Jew about to cross the road toward him and thought it would be safe to ask him directions, and the man told him to follow him.

  54. If you look at the end of the second part, the man seems to look over his right shoulder as he steps into the street. The first person (lady) seems to walk straight then he comes and seems to walk into the street around the tip of a car that is barely showing on the left side of the frame, then Liebel comes and seems to walk straight. Maybe the car used R”L could have been right there. Where is the rest of this video, lets see if it pulls out right after this?

  55. The boy is seen following the man in both videos; however, this may just be reflection of the proximity of the two surveillance cameras. Both of the cameras might have been right near each other and the two just happened to be walking the same way..With that said, it does seem a bit suspicious that he just started walking the other way..But I just find it hard to believe that he could convince a kid to follow him in literally one second.

  56. what an awful story.

    can’t stop thinking about it.

    May God have mercy on this young boy and send him back to his parents speedily.

  57. Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out who that man was in the video? The light is red therefore it seems the child wasn’t waiting to cross the street and when the man approaches (and it looks like he said something to the boy) he turns around and walks briskly in the opposite direction of which he had faced. Who was that guy and where is he?

  58. Hopefully Leibby Kletzky will be found safe and well soon. This episode reminds me of the one last year in Jerusalem where a little boy was lost in the forest. The radio did a broadcast and many hundreds of people, Jew, Muslim, Christian and Secular dropped everything came out to look for him.

    As I said then…

    What a profound metaphor for the Holy City.

    Prayers for Leibby Kletzky.

  59. The kids body language says he is familiar with the bearded fellow. I could b totlly wrong and if I am I apologize but it seems as if the boy sees the man before he crosses into the screen. He starts walking towards him but the man tells him not to make contact in public. he then falls into step behind the man. The parents shud b scrutinizing the man to see if it resembles anyone they know. Chances are if a kid met up with someone its someone he knows from his daily life. Whether school, shul, camp, or anywhere else it may have happened….. It makes sense that a child would make a time to meet with a rebbi counsler, or anyone else of authority. I hope the parents find him right away safe and sound

  60. It appears as if Leiby is waiting for this man and knows him. That may be why he asked his mother for permission to walk rather than take the bus. He may never had any intention of meeting her. The fact that he’s doing so clandestinely spells trouble.

  61. According to the parents the boy insisted that he walk home from camp. His usual routine was to take the bus home. However, Leiby insisted he wants to walk home. His mother caved in and gave him a note authorizing the camp to let him walk. Leiby must have had plans to go or meet someone. It doesn’t make sense why he ws so so persistent on having his mother give him a note to walk home. He must have had plans to be somewhere or meet someone. Also, his mother claims they were supposed to meet on 13th ave & 57th Street. Leiby was caught on video on 18th ave and 45th street walking. I am sure Leiby knew exactly where he wanted to go. Probobly someone who has authority over him instucted him to meet somewhere. This could be a Rebbi, counselour, or family member.

  62. If any one knows people that live near wheels to lease, have them check videos servuillence from 5pm to 7pm to see any activiy especially look out for a gold sedan circling the neighborhood.

  63. Hopefully the authorities can you forensics on the videos of man and Lieby. It seems like he was waiting on the corner for this man – like he has spoken to him before, Surely if they blow up the face on this person – from the second video, someone will recognize him.

  64. Could he be someone he met through camp? Does his walk look familiar to anyone? It looks like he has a beard..

  65. I’m sorry to keep posting so much but I think Lieby knew this man. He waits on the corner almost 30 seconds then turns and looks across the street where he see the person crossing the street. Lieby takes a few steps to the right toward the curb and waits for the man to cross. They have a few quick words and the man takes off with Lieby right behind him. This man is a person he knew and sadly this man is a predator. Pleas G-d, someone recognize this person ..

  66. I sincerely wish this had turned out with a positive result. It seems like kids are no longer safe anywhere in the world.

    Baruch Dyan Emess
    May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

  67. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

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