NYPD: Person implicated in Etan Patz death, case that prompted center for missing children

By COLLEEN LONG and JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - A law enforcement official says a man in custody who has implicated himself in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz was picked up late Wednesday in Camden, N.J., and has been tied to the case in the past.

The man was being questioned Thursday by the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which is heading the probe by the FBI and police.

A person familiar with the investigation says the man's emergence as a person of interest was not related to the search of
a Manhattan basement in April.

Investigators are still trying to confirm details of the man's story.

Both the person familiar with the probe and the official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the ongoing probe into the boy's disappearance in 1979.

Etan vanished while walking to a Manhattan bus stop 33 years ago.

The disappearance led to the formation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Local reps for the center say reopening the case gives hope to many other parents of missing children.

The local chapter is the hub for poster distribution.

Since 1995. 7.5 million posters have gone out for more than 7,000 missing kids. To date, 5,000 kids have been returned home.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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