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Leiby Kletzky’s Dad: “I Was Proud To Be His Father’

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Jul. 15 2011, Updated 9:00 a.m. ET

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By Neil Woulfe - Radar News Director

The parents of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky have yet to speak publicly about the shocking murder and dismemberment of their son, but for the first time, we’re getting a glimpse of how the family is  coping and what they want the millions of people moved by the story to know.

A New York journalist -- WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter -- stopped by the home of Leiby’s parents in Brooklyn on Thursday.

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He went there without a camera, not to interview them, but just to pay his respects.

On Friday, Ritter appeared on Good Morning America to share his moving conversation with host Robin Roberts.

Roberts noted that the parents  -- who are Hasidic Jews -- do not have a television and they don’t read major newspapers; she said they do not want to know details of their son’s murder.

Ritter said the parents have been sitting Shivah, the traditional Jewish weeklong mourning period, and that a lot of family and friends were there.

Ritter said he spoke with the father for a few minutes and told him while this is his pain, he wanted him to know that millions of people have been moved by his son’s death.

Ritter paraphrased what the father told him, saying: “ If my son’s death can bring all of these people together, then what a great  tribute to my boy.“

The father also told Ritter that “he was proud to be his father for nearly nine years.”

Other family members described Leiby as bring “gentle, sweet, sensitive, a little shy, and an incredibly compassionate boy.”

Leiby would have turned 9-years-old next week.

Ritter noted that couple has five daughters; Leiby was their only son.

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