N.Y.P.D. Arrests Pedro Hernandez in Disappearance of Etan Patz

Attention brought to the case in April resurrected Mr. Hernandez as a potential suspect.

Julie Patz, on the Today show, two years after her son Etan’s disappearance.

In a press conference streamed live by multiple media outlets, N.Y.P.D. Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that police have arrested Pedro Hernandez in connection with the May 25, 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. Mr. Kelly told reporters that police found “probable cause” to arrest Mr. Hernandez.

Mr. Kelly said Mr. Hernandez confessed to strangling and killing the boy as Etan headed to school the morning he vanished. Mr. Hernandez allegedly placed the body in a box which he left on the street.

Mr. Hernandez was a stock clerk in a bodega near the Patz home at the time of the disappearance. He allegedly led the boy into the basement there, luring him with the “promise of a soda,” according to Commissioner Kelly.

A source tells The Daily Beast Mr. Hernandez may have confessed to Etan Patz’s murder over 30 years ago :

Relatives of Pedro Hernandez first contacted police not long after Patz vanished from his New York City neighborhood on May 25, 1979, according to the source. The relatives are said to have told police after Patz’s disappearance that Hernandez, who worked in a nearby store, had admitted to them that he killed the 6-year-old boy.

Detectives interviewed Hernandez at that time, the source says, and he confessed to the crime. But the detectives deemed this first confession to be “the raving of a lunatic,” in part because he told them that he had put the body in a box and stashed it someplace only for it to disappear.

The same source told the Daily Beast that police simply didn’t believe the confession, because “You can’t just leave a dead kid out in the street and nobody reports it.” N.Y.P.D. Arrests Pedro Hernandez in Disappearance of Etan Patz