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Etan Patz Case: Man in custody over 1979 disappearance

12:47 PM, May 24, 2012   |    comments
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Etan Patz



NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A man in custody has implicated himself in the disappearance and death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, according to police.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a statement Thursday that said the man in custody made statements to NYPD detectives implicating himself in the 33-year-old case.

The man in custody, Pedro Hernandez, is from Camden, New Jersey and worked in Patz's SoHo neighborhood at the time of his disappearance, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports.

The little boy was last seen walking to a school bus on May 25, 1979. Patz's parents let him walk to the bus alone for the first time that morning and he was never seen again.

The 6-year-old's disappearance caused a frenzy in New York City and prompted huge changes in the way missing child cases were handled. Patz was one of the first missing children to appear on the back of a milk carton.

Patz was officially declared dead in 2001 in a civil lawsuit filed against Jose Ramos. He is a convicted child molester currently behind bars. His girlfriend used to babysit Patz, but Ramos has denied killing the boy.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance reopened the search for Patz in 2010.

Just last month, police and the FBI spent days digging up a basement in Patz's SoHo neighborhood looking for clues, but authorities said that no obvious human remains had been found.

Kelly said police plan to release more details about this latest development later today.

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