NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New information is now emerging about how police were able to get a confession from the man accused of killing Etan Patz. With Pedro Hernandez giving thorough details, authorities are now working on corroborating all of it.
CBS 2’s Chris Wragge spoke with CBS This Morning’s John Miller on Friday. Miller has covered the case since day one in 1979 and uncovered new details on the interrogation of Pedro Hernandez, including his first words after being picked up by police.
“‘Why am I here? Am I here on a warrant? Am I here because of some traffic thing?…Did my devil of an ex-wife complain to you guys? Is this about child support?’ Miller said, quoting Hernandez’s words to authorities.
At that point a detective told Hernandez “You know why you’re here” and tossed a picture of Etan Patz on the table, according to Miller’s source.
“He looks at the picture and immediately glances away,” Miller said.
The two sides went back and forth as Hernandez reportedly continued to hide the truth, then during a bathroom break investigators got a break they never saw coming.
“He passes a detective from the local police who knows him — they grew up on the same street — and they have a brief conversation and the NYPD detectives say ‘Well there’s a relationship here, let’s bring him into it,'” Miller told Wragge.
That is the point when, according to Miller, Hernandez gave his account for the first time in detail of abducting Patz off the street by luring him with a soda. The rest of the details are too graphic to report.
The bombshell tip which set the arrest in motion came from Jose Lopez, Hernandez’s brother-in-law, according to Miller.
The brother-in-law’s interest was piqued during the basement dig in SoHo in April at the location where Patz was allegedly strangled and dismembered.
The mass media coverage made the brother-in-law think the killing was “the big dark family secret,” as Miller put it.
CBS 2’s Wragge also spoke with District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. on Thursday. While he is cautiously optimistic Hernandez is the guilty party he was still not willing to fully exonerate Othniel Miller, who was earlier questioned in the disappearance or the original suspect, Jose Ramos.
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