Police again search NJ home of suspect in Patz case

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Investigators with the New York City Police Department and New Jersey police were at the home in Maple Shade of the 51-year-old man who's confessed to the murder of Etan Patz.

Action News had the only camera there as the wife and daughter of suspected child killer Pedro Hernandez opened the door of their Linwood Avenue home for authorities.

Officers went in with guns drawn to execute a search warrant on behalf of NYPD investigators.

It's been two weeks since police say Hernandez confessed to killing 6-year-old Etan Patz while he was on his way to school in 1979.

But Action News has learned that confession is not enough and prosecutors are looking for more evidence to make their case stronger.

Hernandez has only lived in his Burlington County home for a few years, so the question stands - what did they find to help their 30-year-old murder case?

"They're going to be looking at everything they can, but I doubt if it's there. What kind of evidence could be in the house after all these years?" neighbor Dan Wollick said.

For hours, police made their way in and out of the backside of the duplex.

Late this evening, detectives brought out a desktop computer tower, evidence in a plastic bag, and briefcases loaded with items.

Wollick, who lives in the front apartment, has known Hernandez for several years.

"And the detectives came last week and questioned us, but we didn't' have anything to offer. We just knew he lived back there and didn't bother anybody," Wollick said.

Hernandez's wife and daughter were spotted sitting in the backyard as NYPD's Computer Crimes Squad worked inside the home and investigators searched the basement.

"I'm just thinking [of] the mother and daughter; they didn't have nothing to do with it. They're getting all this stuff thrust onto them," Wollick said.

Hernandez's wife and daughter will be out of their home for the night.

NYPD investigators wrapped up around 10:00 p.m., but Maple Shade police moved their mobile command center and were holding the scene overnight.

It is expected NYPD investigators will return tomorrow and continue their sweep of the house.

Hernandez is scheduled to be in a New York City courtroom in two weeks.

The results of his psychiatric evaluation are still pending.

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