Levi Aron, 35, lived in Memphis and Germantown for at least a few years and was married to Debbie Aron, 34, who spoke to reporters Wednesday from her parents' house in Germantown.
Levi Aron was expected to be charged today with the killing and dismemberment of Leiby Kletzky. New York police said the boy encountered Aron Monday on his way home from school and got into his car. His dismembered body was found in Aron's refrigerator.
Debbie Aron said she was married to Levi Aron from March 2006 to March 2007. They met through a Jewish dating website and were married four months later, she said.
"I've been in total shock since my phone has been ringing off the hook at eight o'clock this morning," she said.
"This is completely out of character of the Levi I know," she said, describing him as "shy" and "more of a mother's boy than a father's boy." She said he loved American Idol and karaoke and singing Lionel Richie songs.
She and Levi Aron did not have children but she had two children from another marriage, and she said Levi Aron was kind to them and took them swimming and taught them to skateboard.
"I'm a pretty sharp person," she said. "If I had noticed anything in the beginning there would have been zero."
She said Levi is an Orthodox Jew who went to temple in Memphis but became less religious after he left Memphis. He worked in Memphis for Metro Security and at a Kroger, according to his ex wife. He is the second oldest of six siblings, she said.
In January of 2007 she got a restraining order against him which was dismissed. She said it was prompted by another relationship with an old boyfriend. The Shelby County sheriff's office confirmed that the order was dismissed.
Asked if Levi Aron was a registered sex offender, Debbi Aron said, "Absolutely not. Never that I'm aware of."