Etan Patz case: Pedro Hernandez indicted


A street shrine to six-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared 33 years ago, is set in front of the building where suspect Pedro Hernandez confessed to have strangled the boy in New York on May 29, 2012. Hernandez, 51, told police he strangled the boy after luring him 'with the promise of a soda' to the basement of the grocery store where he worked, close to a school bus stop where the child was last seen in 1979.


Emmanuel Dunand

Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, NJ, was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared in 1979.

Hernandez was indicted on 2 counts of murder and 1 count of kidnapping, the Wall Street Journal reported

"This indictment is the outcome of a lengthy and deliberative process, involving months of factual investigation and legal analysis,” said Erin M. Duggan, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, according to The New York Times.

Hernandez's defense lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, raised doubts about his client's mental state.

“The indictment is based solely on statements allegedly made by my client, who has, in the past, been repeatedly diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, and who has, over the last six months, been found to suffer from schizotypal personality disorder, which is characterized by, among other things, unusual perceptual experiences, commonly referred to as hallucinations,” Fishbein said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal explains, "The case made national headlines almost 33 years ago to the day of Hernandez’s arrest in May 2012. Etan had been walking to the school bus stop from his family’s home in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood when he vanished on May 25, 1979, drawing widespread attention to the issue of missing children across the country."

Jose Ramos, 69, was initially suspected of the boy's murder. He dated Etan Patz's baby sitter, and was convicted of child molestation, according to CBS News.

On November 8 this year, Ramos walked out of prison and was immeditely arrested by state police for lying about the location of his future residence.

"When he walked out of the main gate, he was taken into custody by troopers," Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Richard Krawetz told CBS New.