Clad in bright holiday pajamas, a 3-year-old boy was thrown to his death from the roof of a high-rise Manhattan apartment building by his father, who then jumped to his own death.
Reportedly upset by a messy divorce, Dmitriy Kanarikov, 35, of Brooklyn threw his son Kirill from the 52-story building, the South Park Tower at 124 W. 60th St.
The boy's mother had custody of the child, and his father, who had visitation rights, was supposed to hand the boy over to her at a police precinct Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
“This is a private matter for my family and my friends,” the mother, Svetlana Bukharina, told the New York Daily News when reached on her cellphone at the station house.
Kanarikov, an immigrant from Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page that he aspired to be an outstanding parent and spouse. “I want to be the best dad and husband -- nothing is more important to me right now,” Kanarikov wrote months ago.
Bukharina said on her Facebook page in March: “I have the best husband and son in the world.”
But their situation apparently deteriorated in recent months, and they became embroiled in a custody fight over the boy.
Police said that when officers responded to a report of two jumpers on the roof of the building around noon EST on Sunday, they found Kanarikov and his son boy on the lower rooftops of two separate buildings nearby.
Kanarikov was pronounced at the scene and his son, clad in what witnesses described as holiday pajamas, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Luis Ortiz told the New York Post that he was at the hospital when paramedics rushed the boy in, pumping on his chest and providing other treatment.
“You could tell he was slipping away. They said the father was up there, but they didn't bring anyone else in. It was just heartbreaking. I have two kids of my own. They tried to do the best they could,” Ortiz told the newspaper.
Kanarikov lived in Brooklyn, authorities told both newspapers. Police said they are investigating why he chose to end his life at the Manhattan building where a friend had formerly lived.
One witness told police of seeing the father and son fall past the window of a 29th-floor apartment, and others described hearing the sickening thuds of the bodies hitting the rooftops below.
“I heard a boom!” Adam Gutierrez, who works in the emergency room at the nearby hospital, told reporters. “The way it sounded, they must’ve jumped from high up.”
ALSO:Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times