Mistakes in investigation may have led NYPD to overlook killer - New York News

Mistakes in investigation may have led police to overlook killer

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Outside the building where police say six-year-old Etan Patz was strangled in 1979, well-wishers are leaving flowers, candles and dolls at the site.

This comes after the biggest missing persons investigation in New York City history could have led to Etan Patz's alleged killer decades ago if not for some big mistakes, law enforcement sources told the New York Post

According to the Post, Pedro Hernandez confessed to police years ago but cops dismissed him as a nut job. 

Fox 5 News is also hearing that Hernandez confessed to a family member who then finally went to police. 

However, the NYPD denies that Hernandez ever confessed to them before. 

The suspect's sister told the Post that every time the anniversary of the six-year- olds disappearance would come up, she wondered why her brother hadn't turned himself in.

Etan's disappearance from his SoHo neighborhood was a mystery for 33 years, until a surprise confession this week by Hernandez who claimed to have lured the boy into the basement of a bodega as he waited for his school bus.

As the memorial for where Etan Patz was allegedly killed grows, so does the anger of many SoHo residents.

Hernandez was arraigned on a murder charge Friday. Hernandez' lawyer said the Maple Shade, NJ man is schizophrenic and has a history of hallucinations.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that while Pedro Hernandez's name was known to investigators soon after Etan's disappearance, he was never interviewed.

According to the Post, a law enforcement source noted that with up to 500 officers assigned to the case at one point, the detectives involved might have assumed that somebody else would have spoken to Hernandez. 

Another investigator who was involved in the case in the 1990s said he had never even heard Hernandez's name before his arrest Thursday. The Post said another investigator was focused on convicted pedophile Jose Ramos. Ramos had dated one of the Patzs' babysitters.

Etan's parents still live two blocks from the spot where he vanished. The family has left a note on their door saying they weren't commenting about the case.

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