Finally, the only clear piece of evidence — a recent confession — came from a man who, according to his lawyer, is delusional. Those are some of the obstacles facing prosecutors as they move forward with murder charges in one of the most notorious — and notoriously vexing — cases in New York City history: the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz.
Pedro Hernandez, who police say volunteered a confession in May, was to appear in court on Thursday following his long-delayed indictment on murder and kidnapping charges. In announcing the charges on Wednesday, prosecutors said that an exhaustive post-arrest investigation found enough evidence to seek an indictment and proceed to trial.
"We believe the evidence that Mr. Hernandez killed Etan Patz to be credible and persuasive, and that his statements are not the product of any mental illness," said Erin M. Duggan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.