(JTA) — Police in New York say a man they have in custody has implicated himself in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz.
The man taken into custody Wednesday has been identified as Pedro Hernandez, who worked at a convenience store in the neighborhood where Patz lived and has been tied to the crime in the past.
Hernandez reportedly said he suffocated Etan, then put his body in a box, which he left in an alley. The boy’s body was never found.
No one was ever arrested and charged in the disappearance of Etan on March 25, 1979. He was 6 and walking to his school bus stop in the downtown SoHo section of New York for the first time by himself, but never arrived.
In April, police dug up a basement in SoHo that belonged to a former handyman, Othniel Miller, that was located on Etan’s route to the bus. No new evidence was uncovered.
Jose Ramos, 68, a convicted pedophile due to be released from prison in November, was declared responsible for Etan’s death in a 2004 civil case.