U.S. News

12.24.13

Threats Preceded High-Rise Suicide, New York Mom Says

“This was his sick way to take Kirill away from me,” says Svetlana Kanarikov of her estranged husband and a contentious split she believes led him to throw their child off a high-rise.

The mother of the 3-year-old boy whose father threw him to his death from a Manhattan high-rise on Sunday has spoken through her lawyer.

“I left my husband in August and sought refuge in my parents’ house in New Jersey with our son,” 32-year-old Svetlana Kanarikov begins.

She had been living with her husband, 35-year-old systems analyst Dmitriy Kanarikov, in a tan stucco house in Brooklyn they had bought in January for $830,000. They had seemed to neighbors to be a perfect couple settling into their dream house, but there had been trouble even before they moved in.

“There was an incident of domestic violence two years before and since then our relationship was dominated by his need to control me,” Svetlana recalls in the statement released through attorney Alla Roytberg. “Finally, I had to flee.”

Dmitriy’s primary concern had been neither his wife nor his son, but his cash and his possessions, she says.

“When we first separated, Dmitriy told me that he would leave me alone only if I left him everything we had together,” she remembers. “Money and assets were most important to him.”

He made a threat that he knew would pierce such a devoted mom to her core.

“Otherwise, he said, he would take the child away,” Svetlana reports.

She says he told her that this would cause her to  “shoot myself from grief.”

He had subsequently tried to win her back, declaring that he was dedicating himself to being a good husband and a good father.

“At first we tried to reconcile, but that fell through,” she says.

He had reverted to the controlling and abusive figure who had forced her to flee in the first place.

“There was a scary verbal dispute and I filed a restraining order [of protection] in New Jersey,” she says. 

A New Jersey court accorded her temporary custody, allowing Dmitriy visits with Kirill. The visits were to be supervised.

“Due the father’s volatile temper,” she notes.

She sought to finalize and formalize the split by filing for divorce in Brooklyn. She asked for temporary custody and continued to be uneasy about allowing Dmitriy to take the boy for even brief periods.

“At first I opposed the visits and only wanted them supervised,” she says.

But at a December 5th court hearing in Brooklyn, she relented. She agreed to allow the father three-hour visits every Sunday, alternating between New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, with the handover to be at a police precinct.

“I also volunteered that the father would speak to Kirill on Skype every day,” she says.

She wanted her son to have a father. And Dmitriy had only gone after her, never Kirill.

“All the incidents were between the two of us,” she says.

She tried to reassure herself.

“I was nervous about the visits, but the father never did anything violent against the child before,” she recalls.

She reports, “The first visit took place on Sunday,

Dmitriy told the court that he intended to file for custody but Svetlana believes that a far more diabolical scheme had begun to stir in him prior to the next scheduled visit.

Dec. 8 in New Jersey, the second, on Sunday, Dec. 15th in Brooklyn. Both times Kirill was happy after seeing his dad. Skype calls were also going well.”

Meanwhile the divorce proceedings continued.

“On Wednesday, Dec. 18 we were in court again, and the judge granted my motion and ordered temporary custody and child support,” she says. “We kept visits the same until the next court date, which was to be on Jan. 17. “

Dmitriy told the court that he intended to file for custody but Svetlana believes that a far more diabolical scheme had begun to stir in him prior to the next scheduled visit.

“He planned it before the visit, and probably after the judge ordered him to pay child support,” she says.

Child support meant money. And Svetlana had refused his demands that she sign away any rights to the house. She had not forgotten the threat to make her shoot herself from grief. And she was still uneasy at the approach of the third visit, even though the first two had seemed to go so well.

As arranged, she arrived with Kirill at the NYPD’s 17th Precinct stationhouse in Manhattan at 10 a.m. Dmitriy took the boy on the promise of returning him at 1 p.m.

“[Dmitriy] 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,” she says.

Svetlana immediately understood Dmitriy’s intent when he threw their son from the roof of the 52-story building.

“This was his sick way to take Kirill away from me,” she says.

Dmitriy had then jumped, but if he died believing he had accomplished his horrific goal, he was mistaken.

“Kirill was a very sweet, wonderful child, who was loved very much,” Svetlana says.  “He will forever live on in my heart.”