Who killed 4-year-old abused boy, left to die alone in Long Island house?

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-17 18:30:38-05

AMITYVILLE, Long Island (PIX11) — Detectives are trying to figure out who abused a 4-year-old boy and left him for dead in his home, alone.

Medics responded to 89 Ketcham Ave. minutes after somebody in the rear apartment of the house at that address called 911 Wednesday afternoon.

When they arrived, they found Adonis Reed unconscious on the couch, and rushed him to a local hospital.  Doctors there pronounced the boy dead.  Nobody else was in the apartment when medics arrived.

Police, however, immediately began an investigation that lasted overnight Wednesday and well into Thursday afternoon.  Investigators brought out a canine to sniff for evidence, and detectives knocked on neighbors’ doors, seeking information.

One of the people they talked with was Reynard Swain, who lives in one of the two other apartments in the house that’s been divided into three units.  “It hit me hard,” Swain told PIX11 News.  “It’s a damn shame.”

He said that the child was “a very quiet, little kid…  I just got upset because it doesn’t make any sense.”

The boy lived with his 6-year-old sister in the lower, rear apartment of the three-unit house.  The two children, according to neighbors, lived with a man and a woman.  The man has not been identified, but a notice that a county court worker left on the door of the house declared that a 6-year-old girl was being removed from the custody of Lakisha Pitt, 32, because of abuse and neglect.

The whole situation surprised people who had seen the couple and the children together.

“They seemed fine,” next-door neighbor Eric Erath told PIX11 News regarding the children.  “It didn’t look like they were neglected at all.  They seemed cheerful all the time.”

Jeff Chessler, who lives in the apartment above the one where the boy was found, said that he’d told investigators that he never heard anything from his neighbors that indicated that anything was wrong.  “It’s crazy,” said Chessler.  “This is unbelievable.   It’s sad, very, very sad.”

Police could not confirm that the couple that the boy lived with were his parents.  Instead, all indications were that they were caregivers.

The couple’s red sedan was still parked in front of their house, with half-eaten food left in the front passenger’s seat, and a preschool workbook on a shelf in the back, with Adonis’s name on it.  Under his name was a drawing he’d made of what he wanted to be when he grew up.  His teacher had written for him, “policeman.”

Now, policemen were investigating the boy’s murder, at the home where he was supposed to be safe.

Throughout the day, some neighbors — and perfect strangers — came up to the porch of the house to leave lit candles, teddy bears and other mementoes.  One woman drove by in her SUV, crossed herself, said a prayer, crossed herself again, and drove on.

Police were still awaiting autopsy results before commenting on the cause of Adonis’ death.  They have also not made any arrests at this time.