Arrest in Etan Patz Case Made on Eve of the 33rd Anniversary of His Disappearance (VIDEO)

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez
It was exactly 33 years ago tomorrow that Etan Patz set off to the school bus stop by himself for the first time. As we well know, he never made it. Instead was likely lured with the promise of a soda and choked to death for no apparent reason by a man. Tonight that man, Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, N.J., has been arrested after all of these years. Finally.

Hernandez confessed yesterday and described what he says happened; he gave no motive. While the lack of physical evidence makes it difficult for police to corroborate his story, they believe he is indeed the killer. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told The New York Times:

He was remorseful, and I think the detectives thought that it was a feeling of relief on his part. We believe that this is the individual responsible for the crime.

Hernandez reportedly wasn't a suspect at the time of Patz's disappearance, but after a search of a Manhattan basement last month, his name came into question. Yesterday, he was taken into custody after living a remarkably "quiet life" for all of these years.

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Police say they're proceeding with caution. I hope they can prove that Hernandez is the killer, and that lack of evidence doesn't mar the case. I also pray this isn't just one of those senseless, bizarre confessions non-guilty people make for attention or other sick reasons. While there can be no true closure for a family who loses a child in this manner, they at least deserve to know what happened and to know that someone will be held accountable for taking the life of their beautiful, innocent boy.

While I definitely think that whatever kind of justice comes with a criminal being charged for his heinous acts is welcome, it also enrages me that he gets "relief" from his confession. There will be no relief for Patz's family. Ever. His arrest is a moment many have long awaited, but there's nothing to celebrate.

 

Do you think Hernandez will end up being convicted in the murder of Etan Patz?

 

Image via CBS News

 

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NatAndCo NatAndCo

While I'm glad the family might atleast have some answers, there is a part of me (possibly the vengeful part) that's pissed that he got "caught" on his own terms.

nonmember avatar Devon

After reading the NYT article, I am flabbergasted that the bags of garbage, where this man says he placed Etan's body, were never searched. They were there for THREE DAYS over the Memorial Day weekend. Insane.

Magen Kauffman

What sickens me is that this man was caught in the town where I live with my husband and my 2 boys, who are only 7 and almost 3.  It makes me want to NEVER EVER let my kids go out of my sight. I've only just started letting my 7 year old play in our fenced in backyard by himself with frequent checks from me ( I can see the whole backyard from my kitchen) and after all this, I'm not sure I want him out there alone anymore.

missy... missybest

All I can say is poor, poor sweet little boy.  My condolences to the family.  Just awful!


It looked like a child was leaving the arrested man's house.  My condolences to this horrible man's child or children.  I cannot imagine how awful it would be to find out that your father killed an innocent little boy.

mamivon2 mamivon2

I think he will be convicted..

nonmember avatar lightwaver

This is not the first person brought to trial for Etan's murder, but I do believe it will be the first one "criminally" convicted. The parents won a wrongful death suit against convicted child molester Jose Ramos in 2004, and I am sure this may play some part in the defense for Hernandez, unless he pleads guilty and waives his right to trial. In the days following the current arrest, one cannot presume one way or the other. I pray for peace with both families, his and Etan's.

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