Friday is National Missing Children’s Day, marking the anniversary of the 1979 disappearance of a New York boy.
It’s also the day the man who confessed to luring 6-year-old Etan Patz from his school bus stop and choking him will appear in court for the first time- exactly 33 years to the date that Etan disappeared.
51-year-old Pedro Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. He’s a former convenience store worker arrested on a murder charge after he told police he promised Etan a soda, took him to the store, just blocks away from the boy’s lower Manhattan home, and killed him there.
Some who live and work near the confessed killer say they’ve formed their own opinions of Hernandez over the years.
“You would talk to him and he would not look you in the eye,” said Roberto Monticello, a man who used to live near the convenience store where Hernandez worked. “He was always a little shifty.”
“He seemed like an alright guy,” said Dan Wollick, Hernandez’ current neighbor. “If this guy, like they say, confessed to it after 33 years, he’s been living in his own personal hell.”
Last month, the massive search of a basement for the missing boy hurled the cold case back into the spotlight. Police say soon after they were tipped off by someone who knew Hernandez and had heard the confessed killer say he “had done a bad thing.”.
Hernandez told police he put Etan Patz’ body in some trash about a block from the store, and authorities say it’s possible his body will never be found.