Mother of boy thrown from Manhattan high-rise releases statement

David Novarro reports on the mother's statement
December 24, 2013 2:51:53 PM PST
Svetlana Kanarikov, the mother of the child thrown from a high-rise building by his father Sunday, has released a statement.

The bodies of Dmitriy and Kirill Kanarikov were found near 60th Street and Amsterdam Avenue just after noon Sunday following the 52-story fall from the roof of the Upper West Side apartment building.

They plunged to their deaths in what is believed to have been the culmination of a custody dispute.

In the statement, Svetlana said: "When we first separated Dmitry told me that he would leave me alone only if I left him everything we had together. Money and assets were most important to him. Otherwise, he said, he would take the child away and I will "shoot myself from grief". This was his sick way to take Kirill away from me. He planned it before the visit, and probably after the judge ordered him to pay child support on December 18. He told his parents that he would take the child to Grand Central, and instead went to a building he knew from visiting his friend there before, went to the roof and killed my son. Kirill was a very sweet, wonderful child, who was loved very much. he will forever live on in my heart."

Police believe Dmitriy, an immigrant from the Ukraine who worked as a systems analyst, threw his son off the building before jumping himself in what is being investigated as a murder suicide. No suicide note was found.

The boy's mother had custody of the child and the father, who had visitation rights, was supposed to hand the boy over to the mother at a police precinct Sunday afternoon, authorities said. Dmitriy left with his son and was only supposed to keep him three hours.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that it was the first time Dmitriy had been allowed to take his son alone since the breakup with his wife Svetlana.

"There was a history of domestic turmoil," Kelly told reporters. The couple was married in 2009 and lived in Brooklyn, but separated this past August, triggering the custody fight. Svetlana moved to New Jersey and obtained an order of protection against her husband, Kelly said.

Investigators have no evidence the father ever threatened to harm his son. However, at one point, he had told his wife that "unless she signed over the house to him and some undisclosed property, he was going to take the child," Kelly said.

Authorities said the father did not live in the building listed as South Park Tower, which is a short distance away from Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center.

In September, Dmitriy Kanarikov posted on Facebook, "I want to be the best dad and husband, nothing is more important to me right now."

After the breakup, Svetlana moved to her parents home in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where friends and family have been paying their respects.

Here is the remainder of her statement: "I left my husband in August and sought refuge in my parents' house in New Jersey with our son. There was an incident of domestic violence 2 years before and since then our relationship was dominated by his need to control me until finally I had to flee.

At first we tried to reconcile, but that fell through. There was a scary verbal dispute and I filed a restraining order in New Jersey. I agreed to withdraw the order in October and we signed a temporary agreement where Kirill would live with me and the father would have visits every Sunday for 3 hours.

The visits were to alternate between New Jersey, Brooklyn and Manhattan. I also filed for divorce in New York and a motion to court asking for temporary custody consistent with NJ agreement, child support and temporary supervised visits, due to the father's volatile temper. At first I opposed the visits and only wanted them to be supervised.

But after December 5 court appearance in Brooklyn, we agreed to follow the New Jersey temporary order and do alternate visits with a handover at the police precinct. I also volunteered that the father would speak to Kirill on Skype every day. I was nervous about the visits, but the father never did anything violent against the child before.

All the incidents were between the two of us. The first visit took place on Sunday December 8 in NJ, the second, on Sunday December 15th in Brooklyn. Both times Kirill was happy after seeing his Dad. Skype calls were also going well.

On Wednesday December 18 we were in court again, and the judge granted my motion and ordered temporary custody and child support. We kept visits the same until the next court date which was to be on January 17. The father said he wanted custody and would make a motion before that date."