New Jersey Man Confesses in Etan Patz Case

The Atlantic
New Jersey Man Confesses in Etan Patz Case
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New Jersey Man Confesses in Etan Patz Case

Update 2:35 p.m.  There are more details coming out now. ABC News' Richard Esposito and Russell Goldman are reporting that the name of the suspect apprehended yesterday is Pedro Hernandez, who reportedly worked at a corner store in SoHo when Patz disappeared around 30 years ago. "The suspect, who would have been 18 when Patz disappeared, has told investigators that he strangled Patz and put his body in a box to dispose of it," they report and add that police expressed "cautious optimism" with the arrest.

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This is big: New York Police may have solved the 33-year-old case of the disappearance and death of Etan Patz. This morning they announced the arrest of Pedro Hernandez, a New Jersey man who reportedly told police, "I did it."

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A few reports came in this morning and NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is supposed to give a full briefing later today. But here's what we do know: According to The New York Daily News' Rocco Parascandola, the suspect is a New Jersey man and was arrested yesterday.  And DNAinfo's Alan Neuhauser and Murray Weiss add that the man was picked up in Camden, New Jersey and used to work in the SoHo area. "He told police 'I did it,'" Neuhauser and Weiss's sources said. 

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Of course this would be a giant break in the 33-year-old case, as April's investigation and demolition of a SoHo basement yielded nothing. And no one was ever charged when the 6-year-old disappeared in SoHo on May 25, 1979. But you have to admit that the timing of the arrest is a bit convenient as the suspect's confession comes within a day of the anniversary of Etan's disappearance (we've seen false confessions and media sensations before). Neuhauser and Weiss have a disclaimer of sorts: 

Sources said the man's name has come up previously in the investigation. Police are planning to question him further, though the sources said they have no hard evidence to support his confession.

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