(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey man who police say confessed to killing Etan Patz is expected to make his first court appearance in New York City on Friday, the 33rd anniversary of the 6-year-old’s disappearance.
Pedro Hernandez, 51, was arrested Thursday after he told detectives that he lured Patz into the basement of a bodega with the promise of a soda and strangled him.
At a news conference on Thursday, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Hernandez admitted he “choked [Patz] there and disposed of the body by putting it into a plastic bag and placing it into the trash.”
Kelly said Hernandez provided no motive for the killing.
Patz disappeared on the morning of May 25, 1979, the first day he was allowed to walk to the school bus stop alone.
Authorities were tipped off to Hernandez after an individual contacted the police with information that led them to identify Hernandez as a person-of-interest.
Kelly said Hernandez had told family members and friends that he had “done a bad thing and killed a child in New York.”
He was taken into custody at his residence in Maple Shade, N.J., Wednesday morning.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire