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Cops questioning man suspected of killing Etan Patz: NYPD


Patz Credit: NYPD and FBI investigators searching a SoHo apartment for evidence last month (Jason DeCrow)

A New Jersey man who has allegedly admitted to kidnapping and killing 6-year-old Etan Patz has been taken into custody by the NYPD, the police commissioner said.

The break in the case came one month after the FBI and police conducted a four-day excavation of a SoHo basement near where Patz lived and was last seen.

"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.

The commissioner said he would give more information about the investigation later today.

Reports have identified the suspect is Pedro Hernandez, 67, of who was arrested in his home state in New Jersey Wednesday.

On May 25, 1979, Patz's parents allowed the boy to make his first unaccompanied trip to the bus stop two blocks away. They never saw him again.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance reopened the cold case in two years ago. In April, a search dog smelled something near the SoHo site and investigators tore apart the basement looking for clothing and human remains.

Authorities tore through the floor of a workshop used by a handyman, Othniel Miller, who had paid the boy to help him with chores, but nothing suspecious was found. Miller was questioned by police but was not charged with a crime.

Patz's parents, who have asked for privacy during the investigation, refused to talk to reporters about the new development.


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