The Etan Patz confession may be thrown out if the suspect’s lawyer has his way. Defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein wrote in new court papers that the man, Pedro Hernandez, gave a false confession.
Fishbein added that the confession was false, contained several questionable claims, and was made only after Hernandez went through seven hours of police questioning.
The Etan Patz case is one of the country’s most notorious child disappearances. The six-year-old boy vanished on May 25, 1979 — the first time his parents ever let him walk to the school bus stop on his own. He later became one of the first missing children to have their picture posted on a milk carton.
The date of Etan’s disappearance also became National Missing Children’s Day. But despite the thousands of tips and more than 30 years, Etan has never been found. His case went cold until last year, when police got a tip about Hernandez.
At least one person reported that Hernandez told people years ago that he had killed a child in New York City, where Patz had lived. The man was taken into custody and questioned about Patz’s disappearance.
After seven hours of questioning, Hernandez told authorities he saw Etan Patz standing at the bus stop. He lured the six-year-old into a corner store where he worked, promising soda. Instead, he choked the young boy in the basement. He put the boy’s backpack behind a freezer and put his body in a box, leaving it with some trash roughly a block away.
However, Hernandez was the only man to see Etan at the bus stop, and his backpack was never discovered. But despite the request and the potential inaccuracies, prosecutors opposed Fishbein’s request. They argued that the evidence against Hernandez “was legally sufficient to support the charges.”
Fishbein as added that Hernandez is schizophrenic, bipolar, and also prone to hallucinations. Prosecutors countered the arguments. IT is not yet clear if the judge will agree to throw out the Etan Patz murder confession.