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A poster seeking information about missing child Etan Patz. Mary Altaffer/AP/Press Association Images
Etan Patz

Man due in court over disappearance and death of Etan Patz

The six-year-old went missing on his way to school in New York 33 years ago.

A MAN WHO HAS reportedly confessed to killing a child who went missing on his way to school in New York 33 years ago is due in court today.

Police announced yesterday that the man was arrested after implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz.

The six-year-old disappeared on 25 May 1979 as he walked to catch his school bus. It was the first day his parents had allowed him to make the journey alone, and his disappearance heralded a change in parenting attitudes across the US, according to the AP, as parents reassessed allowing their children out alone.

He became the first missing child to have their image put on milk cartons to raise public awareness about the disappearance.

Yesterday, NYPD officers confirmed that Pedro Hernandez, 51, of New Jersey told police that he had strangled the young boy.

MSNBC reports today that police acted on a tip-off from a person who knew Hernandez and said they recalled him saying he had killed a child in New York.

Commenting on the latest developments in the decades-old case, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said: “We can only hope these developments bring a measure of peace to the Patz family.”

However, Kelly said that it was unlikely that authorities would recover the child’s remains.

Man held over 1979 disappearance of New York schoolboy Etan Patz >

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