On Thursday afternoon, Pedro Hernandez admitted to killing Etan Patz 33 years ago in New York. The boy was the first to appear on milk cartons across the country after he went missing. Hernandez lived in Maple Shade, New Jersey and previously worked as a stock boy in a food store located on the Manhattan Soho street where the boy was seen one last time on May 25, 1979. The disappearance by Patz led to the law known as Missing Children’s Assistance Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The act created a non-profit missing children’s center and changed the way the police and the public deals with missing children.
Harvey Fishbein, the attorney for Hernandez, said the following in from of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday:
“It’s a tough day. The family is very upset,” Fishbein said.
Hernandez was transferred from his jail cell to Bellevue Hospital on Friday morning to make sure that the medicine he was taking was being administered correctly, according to Paul Browne, a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department. Browne did not discuss the medication Hernandez was taking or what it was for. Raymond Kelly, the Police Commissioner, said that Hernandez will be charged with second-degree murder after confessing to police about strangling the boy in the basement of the food store and then dumping the body in a bag and throwing it in the trash.
The FBI and the New York City Police Department excavated the basement of another building in the neighborhood, which did not provide any evidence to the crime. The excavation led to a tip about Hernandez, who told family members in 1981 that ‘he had done a bad thing and killed a child in New York,’ according to Kelly.
Patz was allowed by his parents for the first time to walk alone the day he disappeared. The boy told his parents he was going to buy a soda at the store. Hernandez claims he lured the boy to the basement of the store by promising him a free drink.