By EnStarz Staff Writer, EnStarz | May 24, 2012 12:08 PM EDT
The dissappearance of Etan Patz 33 years ago may have been solved after the New York Police Department arrested a man from New Jersey who admitted to strangling the boy, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
The man, Pedro Hernandez from Camden, New Jersey, confessed Wednesday to kidnapping and strangling Etan but gave no reason why, according to the paper citing anonymous New York City investigators.
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Hernandez confessed to wrapping the boy's body in a bag and putting it in a box, a law enforcement official said on Thursday. He told investigators that he left the box at a location in Manhattan, but when he returned several days later the box was no longer there.
"An individual now in custody has made statements to NYPD detectives implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz 33 years ago," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement.
AP is reporting that Hernandez was tied to the case in the past.
Additional details are expected to be released later Thursday.
Patz vanished when he was 6-years-old on May 25, 1979 when he was walking alone to his school bus stop for the first time in New York's SoHo neighborhood. His photo was one of the first of a missing child to be placed on a milk carton.
At the time there was an exhaustive search by the police; thousands of fliers were plastered around the city, buildings canvassed and hundreds of people interviewed, according to the Associated Press.
Hernandez reportedly worked and lived in Patz's neighborhood when the boy disappeared, NBC 4 New York reports.
According to NBC 4 New York, Hernandez used candy to lure the kid before attacking him.
A source says police was led to Hernandez following a lead from two relatives who remembered Hernandez speaking of having killed a child and disposing of the body at a bodega where he worked in SoHo, NBC 4 New York reports.
The search for Patz was renewed in April when police dug up the basement of a Manhattan basement but no new evidence emerged.
Patz’ parents Stan and Julie Patz still live in the same apartment. AP reports they were reluctant to move or change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out.
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