Updated 05/24/2012 09:04 PM
Police: Man implicates himself in boy's 1979 disappearance
Thirty-three years after Etan Patz disappearance on his way to his SoHo bus stop, police have arrested a man who they say has confessed to murdering the six-year-old boy. Dean Meminger joined us with the latest from police headquarters.
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NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Police are questioning a new person of interest in the disappearance of Etan Patz.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement the man now in custody has made statements to NYPD detectives implicating himself in the disappearance and death of the young boy back in 1979.
The man has been identified by sources as Pedro Hernandez who say he was picked up in Camden, New Jersey.
Sources say authorities do have some doubts about his story.
New details are also starting to emerge in published reports, though they do have conflicting accounts of what allegedly happened to Etan.
The New York Times reports a law enforcement official as saying Hernandez confessed to wrapping the six-year-old's body in a bag, putting it in a box and leaving it somewhere in Manhattan. However, the paper says another official said Hernandez couldn't find it when he returned to the location several days later.
The New York Post and Daily News say the boy was stabbed after being lured with candy.
Hernandez also apparently worked at a bodega near Etan's Prince Street home.
Law enforcement officials say Hernandez has been linked to the case in the past.
"It's a case that, to his credit, [Manhattan] District Attorney Cy Vance reopened in hopes not only of bringing justice but also offering some closure to Etan's parents. And as a father I just can't imagine what they've gone through and I certainly hope they are one step closer to bringing them some measure of relief," Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters Thursday.
The latest developments come just a month after the FBI dug up a SoHo basement looking for Etan's body.
No human remains were found and the search did not yield any obvious evidence.
Although convicted child molester Jose Ramos was suspected in the disappearance, and Brooklyn handyman Othneil Miller was also eyed during last month's search, no one has ever been prosecuted in the case.