Etan Patz case: Latino man confesses to 33-year-old murder of missing boy

It looks like Etan Patz's family may finally have some rest after 33 years of not knowing what happened to the 6-year-old boy who went missing in New York many years ago. After the excavation of a nearby basement in April lead nowhere, police announced they had just arrested New Jersey man 51-year-old Pedro Hernández earlier this week. In a taped interview, Hernández confessed to killing the boy while he worked at a nearby bodega. 


Read more ¿Qué más? Etan Patz's killer may finally be in custody in New York (VIDEO)

The good news comes after little boy Etan became the first missing child to appear on a milk carton and sparked a nationwide campaign on behalf of missing children everywhere. Oddly enough, though, Hernández was never questioned in the original case.

Now that the man has been arrested and confessed, his community is shocked that he was the killer all along. He told police that he used a soda to lure the boy, then strangled him. After killing him, he stuffed the body into a bag and disposed of it in the trash. Afterward, he quit and moved to Camden, N.J., to be closer to family. By all accounts, Hernandez has since seemed simply like a quiet man, living there with his wife and daughter. Neighbors say he "joins them at church occasionally and rarely emerges from his small bungalow apartment except to smoke a cigarette now and then." 

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The community in which Hernández lives has clearly been shaken after the news of his arrest and subsequent confession. The only thing that we can really take comfort in is that one of the most infamous unsolved cases in New York now appears to have been solved, after police charged him with second-degree murder. But his family will surely forever be changed.

What do you think of this Latino man confessing to a 33-year-old crime? Share with us in the comments below!

Images via Inside Editiion, NYPD