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Mother of boy thrown by dad from NY highrise blames custody fight

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The grieving mother whose estranged husband threw their 3-year old son off a Manhattan skyscraper in a murder-suicide on Sunday said the act was his "sick" way of retaliating against her over a bitter custody dispute.

Svetlana Kanarikov had recently agreed to Sunday visits between her estranged husband, Dmitriy Kanarikov, 35, and their son, Kirill, she said in a statement released late Monday through her attorney.

The couple, who were married in 2009 but separated in August, had been feuding in court over property and the custody of the child.

"I was nervous about the visits, but the father never did anything violent against the child before," Svetlana Kanarikov said in the statement. "When we first separated, Dmitriy told me that he would leave me alone only if I left him everything we had together."

As part of the temporary agreement, she said, the boy was to live with her and spend three hours each Sunday with his father.

After two Sunday visits earlier this month, she said her son was "happy after seeing his Dad."

On Sunday, according to New York police, Dmitriy Kanarikov took his son to the 52-floor rooftop of a residential highrise on Manhattan's Upper West Side and threw the boy off before jumping himself.

Both father and son were killed in the fall, police said.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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