November 25, 2014
The suspect in the 1979 kidnapping of six-year-old Etan Patz in New York will learn today whether his confession can be used at a murder trial.
Pedro Hernandez, 53, has pleaded not guilty to killing the boy, who disappeared while walking to his school bus stop in Manhattan, in a case that mystified police for decades.
It was only in 2012 that Hernandez, who had been a stock clerk at a store in Etan’s neighborhood when the boy disappeared, emerged as a suspect.
After six hours of questioning, he confessed to the kidnapping on video, telling police he lured Etan to the store basement with the promise of a soda and then choked the boy.
He described putting the six-year-old, who was still alive, into a plastic bag, then putting the bag inside a box and dumping it nearby.
‘I was nervous; my legs were jumping,’ Hernandez said. ‘I wanted to let go, but I just couldn’t let go. I felt like something just took over me. I don’t know what to say. Something just took over me, and I was just choking him.’
A judge is due to rule, not whether the statements are true, but whether or not the confession can be used as evidence at Hernandez’s murder trial.