The man who authorities were speculating murdered 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 has officially been charged. Pedro Hernandez, a 51-year-old former convenience store clerk, not only confessed to the crime but made reportedly “incriminating remarks” to others. But the most chilling details about Pedro is not only that he has no criminal record to speak of — but that he’s also a father.
Pedro has two grown kids, and made cryptic comments to his family that he had done “something bad,” killing an unknown New York City child. After police dug up that Soho basement to uncover nothing, a tipster not related to Pedro alerted authorities. After taking Pedro into custody, he revealed the following horrific account of Etan’s death:
[Pedro] told investigators this week he lured the little boy into the shop with the promise of a soda, then led him to the basement, choked him and put his body in a bag with some trash about a block away, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Police have yet to discern a motive for the killing, despite that Pedro demonstrated remorse and “a feeling of relief” upon confessing. But no word yet on why a father of all people, with no history of violence or abuse, decided to take Etan’s life.