Etan Patz Suspect Indicted

Police say Pedro Hernandez has already confessed

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 14, 2012 12:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Pedro Hernandez, the 51-year-old suspect in the 1979 disappearance of a 6-year-old New York City boy that led to a national missing-children movement has been indicted on charges of murder and kidnapping, his lawyer said today. Hernandez was arrested earlier this year, and investigators say he confessed to luring Etan Patz into the convenience store where he worked as a clerk with the promise of a soda. He allegedly said he led the child to the basement, choked him and left his body in a bag of trash about a block away.

Hernandez's lawyer has described him as bipolar and schizophrenic, with a history of hallucinations. The diagnosis could become the basis of a psychiatric defense claiming that Hernandez agreed to speak to police without understanding his rights, and that the purported confession was a sick fantasy.

Etan Patz, who vanished in New York on May 25, 1979, inspiring one of the most extensive missing-child searches ever.
Etan Patz, who vanished in New York on May 25, 1979, inspiring one of the most extensive missing-child searches ever.   (AP Photo/Stanley K. Patz)
Murder suspect Pedro Hernandez is shown in this May 2012 file photo.
Murder suspect Pedro Hernandez is shown in this May 2012 file photo.   (Uncredited)
A flyer distributed by the New York Police Department of Etan Patz, who vanished in New York on May 25, 1979.
A flyer distributed by the New York Police Department of Etan Patz, who vanished in New York on May 25, 1979.   (AP Photo/Courtesy New York Police Department)
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