Etan Patz Murder Suspect Pedro Hernandez Charged With Murder

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Source: Richard Esposito, Aaron Katersky and Russell Goldman / ABC News

The former store clerk who confessed to the 1979 killing of Etan Patz was formally charged today with second degree murder of the little boy exactly 33 years to the day after he disappeared while on his way to school.

Pedro Hernandez, who despite a more than three decades-long investigation was never the target of police until this week, was arrested Wednesday at his home in New Jersey and promptly confessed to kidnapping and killing Patz.

New York City police hailed his arrest Thursday night, closing a case that has haunted New York for three decades. At 5:30 a.m. this morning, Hernandez was taken under guard to Bellevue Hospital where he was placed on suicide watch.

Hernandez will be arraigned from his hospital room via closed circuit television linking him to a lower Manhattan courtroom.

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