A devastated father threw his three-year-old son to his death from a Manhattan skyscraper then jumped himself after he was ordered by a court to hand the child to his wife following a bitter custody battle.
Dmitriy Kanarikov, a systems analyst from Brooklyn, pushed his son Kirill off a ledge on the 52-floor building a short distance from Columbus Circle and the Lincoln Center.
Police responded to an emergency call reporting two jumpers from the apartment building. They found Dmitriy Kanarikov, 35, and the boy Kirill on the lower rooftops of two separate nearby buildings.
According to reports the three-year-old boy was still wearing his Christmas pyjamas.
His mother had custody of him and the father, who had visitating rights, was supposed to hand him over to her at a police station on Sunday afternoon.
According to the Daily News the family's home life had been happy but had 'imploded' in recent months leading to a fraught and angry break-up.
The split was so bad that they had to meet in a public place to drop off and pick up their son, the newspaper claimed.
Kanarikov is said to have collected his son at 10am on Sunday morning, and was supposed to take him back at 1pm.
Luis Ortiz told the New York Post that he was at the hospital when paramedics rushed the boy there and they were desperately trying to revive him.
"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," he said.
It is the second time this year that a parent and child have been involved in a fatal plunge from a New York apartment building.
In March a woman clutching her baby son in her arms plunged eight stories out of a Harlem apartment window, but the 10-month-old survived. Police found a suicide note in her home.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritans.org
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