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Etan Patz's accused killer has been charged with the second degree murder of the little boy, exactly 33 years after the day he disappeared.
Etan Patz' accused killer, former store clerk Pedro Hernandez, has been arraigned by video feed from Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center, where he is currently on suicide watch, a law enforcement source told CNN Friday evening.
Judge Matthew Sciarrino presided over the proceedings from a New York courtroom at around 6:25 p.m., and denied bail for Hernandez, according to CNN. The suspect's defense attorney Harvey Fishbein argued that his client has a “long psychiatric history” including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and hallucinations.
Fishbein requested a full psychiatric evaluation for Hernandez, which the judge granted, CNN reported.
Hernandez, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, remained silent and composed during the court proceedings. A date for a grand jury to hear prosecutors’ evidence against Hernandez for a potential indictment has not yet been set, according to CNN.
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Earlier Friday, Hernandez was charged with the boy's second degree murder, exactly 33 years after the 6-year-old disappeared on his way to school in New York's then-working-class SoHo neighborhood, ABC News reported. He was arrested Wednesday at his Maple Shade, New Jersey home, where he confessed to kidnapping and killing Patz, according to ABC.
Despite a decades-long investigation which began in 1979, Hernandez wasn't targeted by New York police until this week.
Hernandez had admitted to family members and friends as early as 1981 that he "done a bad thing and killed a child in New York," according to the ABC News. Renewed interest in the case caused one of his acquaintances to tip off the police.
He had been placed on suicide watch at Bellevue Hospital Friday after being under constant supervision of a police sergeant, the New Jersey Star Ledger reported.
Hernandez admitted to luring Patz into the bodega where he worked with an offer of soda, and then suffocated the boy, put his body in a box, walked down the street and left the box in an alley, the Associated Press reported.
Investigators were still trying to confirm details of Hernandez's story, whose charge coincides with the Friday anniversary of Etan's disappearance and National Missing Persons Day, when detectives "typically receive a landslide of hoaxes and false leads," the AP reported.
"Let me caution you that there's still a lot of investigating to do," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg of the long-dormant case, one of the largest and longest-lasting hunts for a missing child in recent US history.
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