Man arrested, charged with second-degree murder in 1979 killing of Etan Patz
After 33 years, police have arrested a man in the killing of a 6-year-old who went missing decades ago in New York City. Pedro Hernandez, a former Manhattan stock clerk who lived in the same neighborhood as the little boy, was arrested on Thursday in connection with the death, according to police. Etan Patz vanished on May 25, 1979, a block from his home in a Manhattan neighborhood. The child’s disappearance helped initiate a national movement to raise awareness of missing children, which involved a then-novel approach of displaying an image of the child’s face across thousands of milk cartons.
Hernandez reportedly lured Etan Patz to a store with the promise of a soda, choked him, and placed his body in the trash about a block and a half away, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters. Referring to the man’s earlier confession, Kelly said, “Detectives believe in the credibility of the statement.” At the time of the disappearance, Hernandez was 19. According to Kelly, he will be charged with murder in the second-degree.