Etan Patz Case: Man implicates himself in 6-year-old's disappearance, NYPD says
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - New York City police said Thursday a man in custody has implicated himself in the death of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who became one of the first faces to appear on the back of a milk carton when he disappeared 33 years ago, CBS New York reports.
CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reports the suspect in custody has been identified as Pedro Hernandez. He once worked in a SoHo shop just blocks from Patz's home.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement that further details would be released later Thursday.
Patz vanished on May 25, 1979 while walking alone to his school bus stop for the first time, two blocks from his home in New York's SoHo neighborhood. His disappearance caused a frenzy in New York City and changed the way missing child cases were handled.
In April, police and the FBI spent days digging up a basement in Patz's neighborhood looking for clues, but authorities said that no obvious human remains had been found.
Etan's parents Stan and Julie Patz still live in the same apartment down the street from the building that was examined in April. They were reluctant to move or even change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out. The family did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
In the past, the case seemed to have been largely focused on Jose Ramos, a convicted child molester currently behind bars. Ramos's girlfriend used to babysit Patz but Ramos has denied killing the boy. In 2000, authorities dug up Ramos' former basement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan but nothing turned up.
Focus was then shifted to a 75-year-old Brooklyn resident, though he was not named a suspect. In 1979, he was a handyman who had a workspace in the basement where the April excavation occurred. He denied any involvement.
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