NYPD searches SoHo basement
view traffic Islip, NY 58Crime scene investigators Wednesday
The boy disappeared on May 25, 1979, while walking alone for the first time to a school bus stop.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne confirmed that investigators returned Wednesday to the location where the man, Pedro Hernandez, 51, had once worked. Browne said the search wasn’t based on new information, but he declined to elaborate.
Police erected a pulley system on the side of the building and operated it throughout the day. Investigators emerged with at least six brown bags, some covered in dust. His attorney, Harvey Fishbein, said that Hernandez has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Prosecutors charged Hernandez with murder in May, 33 years to the day after the boy disappeared in the neighborhood where his parents and siblings still live.
At the time, Hernandez was 18 and working as a stock clerk at the grocery store down the street from Etan’s home.
In a single page felony complaint signed by NYPD Det. David Ramirez of the missing persons squad, Hernandez was charged with one count of second degree murder. Police said Hernandez admitted to them that on May 25, 1979, he lured Etan into the bodega at 448 W. Broadway with the promise of soda and strangled him. Hernandez told police in May that he killed Etan in the basement and then put his body in a plastic bag and dumped it in an alley Air Max Shoes next to 113 Thompson St., about a blo Air Max Shoes ck and a half away. Police have not provided a motive for the killing.
Shortly after his arrest, Hernandez was hospitalized after making comments about wanting to kill himself at Bellevue Hospital Center’s psychiatric ward, and at Rikers Island jail. Hernandez was transferred to the Manhattan Detention Complex on July 18.