Nation

Man arrested in 1979 missing child case

Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City neighborhood in 1979, drawing national attention to the plight of missing children.
REUTERS/NYPD/File
Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City neighborhood in 1979, drawing national attention to the plight of missing children.

NEW YORK (AP) — A man has been arrested in the 1979 disappearance of a 6-year-old New York City boy. It’s the first arrest ever made in a case that helped give rise to the nation’s missing-children movement.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says Pedro Hernandez of Maple Shade, N.J., has been arrested in the killing of Etan Patz. It’s not immediately clear whether Hernandez has a lawyer.

Kelly says Hernandez confessed to the crime. Hernandez worked at a convenience store near Etan’s Manhattan home.

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A law enforcement official says Hernandez told investigators this week he suffocated the boy and left his body in a box in an alley.

Etan vanished on his way to school on May 25, 1979.