Pedro Hernandez, the former SoHo bodega stock boy who confessed to the murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz 33 years after the boy disappeared, was taken to Bellevue Hospital and placed on suicide watch. Authorities promptly put him the hospital after he told police he no longer takes his psychiatric medication.
He has been talking about killing himself, an unidentified source told the New York Post.
Hernandez was charged with second degree murder yesterday when he informed investigators that he lured the boy into the bodega with the promise soda. He then strangled the 6-year-old, collected his remains and wrapped them in a plastic bag, as previously reported.
Hernandez admitted that May 25, 1979, the day Patz disappeared, was the first time he ever saw Patz. He was only 18 when he killed the 6-year-old Patz.
I knew he was the one . . . [I] just felt the urge to kill, according to an unidentified source from the Post.
In a press conference yesterday, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said there appeared to be no motive for the murder and said there was no reason at this time to believe Hernandez sexually abused the boy, reported NBC.
Approximately 5:30 a.m. on Friday, he told police he stopped taking his psychiatric medication and felt depressed. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Brooklyn for observation and evaluation. He was also placed on suicide watch, reported the Post.
This is expected to delay his arraignment until later this afternoon.
Hernandez's family admits that he had a history of mental illness.
Everything points to him doing it,' said Jose Lopez, Hernandez's brother in law, reported the Daily Mail. You do crazy things when you're younger, Pedro did.
Lopez discussed Hernandez's attitude growing up, saying he had a short fuse.
I've known Pedro since he was about 10. When he was a teenager, when he's supposed to have done this, he was a tough guy and knew how to handle himself but he was hot blooded and he would snap, said Lopez. I used to stay out of the way of him and his wife as they would row so much. Things did not end well between them, it wasn't good.
Hernandez's sister and Jose's wife, Magarita Lopez said that she hopes justice is served in this case.
If he did something he should pay for it. I have kids and if something happened to them the person that did it will have to pay, said, reported the Daily Mail. It doesn't matter if he's my son, my brother, my father or whatever. They would have to pay for what they did.
On Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Patz's disappearance had broke the hearts of millions across the nation. He expressed sympathy to Patz's parents, reported NBC.
I certainly hope that we are one step closer to bringing them some measure of relief, he said.
Hernandez was arrested on Wednesday near Camden, N.J. and was transferred to New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office for questions regarding his involvement in the disappearance of Patz.
I did it, said Hernandez, reported DNAInfo.com.
Hernandez, who is now 67, moved to New Jersey after the murder. He admitted to family that he killed a child, but never mentioned a name. He also reportedly told a spiritual advisor in the 80s, but remained silent on the matter for about 30 years.
He reportedly told officials that he discarded the remains into a garbage can after the murder and there is no chance of recovering Patz's body or any remains.
There is no body, said a source close to the investigation, reported DNAInfo.com. You're not going to find it,
Hernandez is not new to the investigation. For years, investigators had considered him a person of interest.
As a father, I can't imagine what they've gone through, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. I certainly hope that we are one step closer to bringing them some measure of relief.
Last month, as the FBI and NYPD searched through a basement in SoHo where they believed Patz's body could be, a relative of Herndez who knew about the murder called police.
After an initial search, police discovered a possible blood stain in the basement. However, after an analysis, they concluded it contained no trace of bodily fluids. The search for human remains in the basement turned up empty. Strands of hair were also discovered, but they do not appear to match those of Patz, reported the New York Post.
On May 25, 1979, Patz left his building on Prince St. and was never seen again. For over 30 years, investigators have come up short in finding out what happened to the 6-year-old. Patz lived only 100 yards from the basement on Prince St. and would have passed by it often as he walked to the bus stop, where was he headed the day he disappeared, reported CNN.
However, he also lived close to the bodega where Hernandez was employed.
In 1979, a handyman, Othniel Miller, who is now 75-years-old, used the basement. However, he always maintained his innocence in the case.
Mr. Miller decries these efforts to sully his good reputation and destroy his family,'' said Michael Farkas, Miller's lawyer. He has absolutely no responsibility for the terrible tragedy that befell young Etan Patz, and he grieves for Etan's fate, as all New Yorkers have for decades.
According to the New York Times, Hernandez gave an emotional conversion regarding the murder. However, it is not clear if the police was able to corroborate any physical evidence with Hernandez's testimony.
Etan's parents, Stan and Julie Patz still live in the same apartment where their son lived. They also maintained their same phone number in case their son ever reached out to them.
In 2001, Etan was declared legally dead so they can sue the man they believed was responsible for their son's death, Jose Ramos. In 2004, a civil judge declared him responsible for Etan's death. Ramos is currently in prison in Pennsylvania for molesting two children and has denied having any involvement in the disappearance of the boy, reported the AP.