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DA Vance: Too Soon To Say How Confident He Is About Suspect In Patz Case

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Manhattan's top prosecutor says it's "premature'' to say how confident he is that a former stock clerk is the person who killed a boy who vanished in 1979.

District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. also declined to comment Thursday on whether Pedro Hernandez's arrest clears two other men who had been eyed in the case.

WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reports


Hernandez was charged last week with murder after police say he confessed to strangling Etan Patz.

Hernandez hasn't entered a plea. His lawyer says he's schizophrenic.

There are many skeptics in law enforcement about the reliability of the out-of-the-blue confession by Hernandez 33 years after Patz's disappearance.

Vance says prosecutors are working on the case "in a measured, thoughtful, impartial manner.''

A civil court declared another man responsible for Etan's death: a convicted child molester in a Pennsylvania prison. Then last month, investigators dug up a basement linked to a handyman. Neither was charged.

Vance said he wants to make sure justice is brought to the victims and families involved in cold cases but realizes there's a certain challenge in solving those cases.

"We need to make sure that accountability is levied to the right person," Vance said.

Do you think the cops have the right guy? Let us know below...

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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