Photo: ABC News Screen Shot
The big break in the 1979 vanishing of Etan Patz could be a false alarm.Ex-bodega clerk Pedro Hernandez confessed to strangling the 6-year-old, but there’s reportedly doubt among police insiders about whether the case is actually solved.
Patz’s own father, Stanley Patz, has believed for years that a prisoner in northeastern Pennsylvania named Jose Antonio Ramos killed his son, philly.com reports.
Stanley Patz reportedly sends Ramos an envelope twice a year asking him what he did with the 6-year-old. Ramos was found responsible for killing Etan in a civil wrongful death suit, the New York Daily News reported.
“People heard the word ‘confession’ and they think that’s it, the case is solved,” a law enforcement official working on the case told The New York Times‘ Jim Dwyer. “If this was a baseball game, we would be in the first inning.”
For one thing, police may face hurdles corroborating Hernandez’s testimony given the fact that Patz’s body was never found and there’s little physical evidence in the case.
A report from Michael Daly at the Daily Beast casts more doubt on the confession announced Thursday.
Hernandez confessed more than 30 years ago only to be dismissed as a lunatic, Daly reported.
A “knowledgeable law-enforcement source” told the Daily Beast that Hernandez confessed in 1979, but that police thought he was crazy because he said he stashed the body in a box before it simply disappeared.
“They didn’t believe him,” the source told the Daily Beast. “You can’t just leave a dead kid in the street and nobody reports it.”
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