There's a glimmer of hope that authorities may finally solve the 33-year-old cold case of Etan Patz, a boy who disappeared in 1979 while on his way to the school bus stop.

Police told the media Thursday that they have a suspect in custody in connection with the 6-year-old's disappearance. News of a break in the case came about a month after investigators with the New York Police Department and the FBI tore up the SoHo basement of a local handyman but found no evidence of human remains.

The case gripped America's attention 33 years ago and returned to the front pages in 2010 when Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, reopened the investigation.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement Thursday that the suspect, Pedro Hernandez, implicated himself in the boy's death. Patz's disappearance on May 25, 1979, made him the first child whose face appeared on a milk carton. It was the first time he was going to school alone in his SoHo neighborhood at the southern tip of Manhattan.

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the man was picked up late Wednesday in Camden, N.J. He is now being questioned by the Manhattan district attorney's office. The suspect was tied to the case in the past, the law enforcement official said.

Reports are that the suspect would have been 18 when Patz disappeared. ABC reported that the man told investigators he strangled Patz and put his body in a box to dispose of it. Hernandez hasn't been charged with any crime as yet and sources are telling the media that investigators are exercising caution as some of Hernandez's statements reportedly contradict known facts.

Kelly said more details will be revealed later Thursday.

The boy's parents, Stan and Julie Patz, have not moved from their apartment or changed their phone number because they are still clinging to hope their son will contact them. He was declared legally dead in 2001.