A New Jersey resident taken into custody Wednesday has confessed to the 1979 abduction and murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz, the New York Police Department announced Thursday. The New York Times has identified the man as Pedro Hernandez. Hernandez has not been charged.
"An individual now in custody has made statements to N.Y.P.D. detectives implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz 33 years ago," New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, in a statement.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg also confirmed the news, but cautioned that “there’s a lot more investigating to do.”
Patz disappeared on May 25, 1979 while walking to school in Lower Manhattan. Although his body was never found, Patz has long been presumed dead. He was the first missing child to ever appear on a milk carton.
According to police sources, Hernandez has claimed he strangled Patz after luring the boy with candy. He reportedly told investigators that he put Patz’s body in a box and dumped it. The box was missing when Hernandez returned to the scene several days later. Sources say police have visited the location.
At the time of Patz’s disappearance, Hernandez was 18 and working at a convenience store in the area.
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