NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - This week 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez made a shocking confession, admitting that it was him who killed a six-year-old boy who has been missing for more than three decades.
Etan Patz's case has captured the nation's attention for 33 years, and now the public is learning that Hernandez may have tried to make that confession -- at least partially -- to family members over the years.
WCBS 880's Monica Miller reports
"They're going to look for more, which is, 'How often did he make these statements, and to how many family members? What exactly did he say, and over how many years?'" CBS This Morning Senior Correspondent John Miller said.
Lucy Suarez, Hernandez's sister, saw the news on TV and wished that the family of the missing child would finally get some peace. She told The Associated Press that Hernandez previously spoke vaguely about what happened, saying "He didn't say, 'I killed somebody.' My conclusion was that it was a hit-and-run, or he hit someone with a bike -- nothing like a murder."
Hernandez, who was working as a store clerk at a convenience store in SoHo in 1979, confessed to police that he lured the boy into the store's basement, strangled him, put his body in a bag and left him in an area on nearby Thompson Street.
"A confession in and of itself is not legally sustainable for a conviction," Miller said. "But it needs to be corroborated."
Legal experts wonder if there's something that the public doesn't know yet.
"Juries like to know the "why," Miller explained. "And there's something missing in this story here. It's very unlikely that he just lured a boy down into the basement with a soda and killed him for the simple thrill of it."
Some FBI officials told The Daily News that they're unconvinced that Hernandez is the man responsible for the death of Patz, due to the inconsistencies in his story and his mental problems. However, officials are painting a different picture for The New York Post. They said that Hernandez gave detectives intimate details about the murder, and he knew where certain scars and birthmarks were located on the victim's body. He also allegedly described items that Patz wore when he disappeared.
The boy's parents, returning to SoHo, left a note this weekend, saying that they're not ready to comment.
What do you believe? Who do you think is telling the truth? Sound off with your thoughts and theories in the comments section below...
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