Why let him think he is finally free only to arrest him as soon as he steps outside the walls of prison? Further punishment? And how does one find a valid place to stay while in prison?
By KIA GREGORY
DALLAS - [name withheld], once a prime suspect in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz in Lower Manhattan, was released from a prison here on Wednesday morning, only to be immediately arrested on a Megan’s Law violation, the Pennsylvania State Police said.
As a convicted sex offender, Mr. [name withheld], 69, was required to provide the address where he would be residing, but the decades-old one that he gave for a cousin in the Bronx was no longer accurate, the State Police said.
Mr. [name withheld] had served the maximum sentence of 27 years, most of it at the State Correctional Institution here in northeastern Pennsylvania after being convicted of sexually abusing a young boy in Warren, Pa. Although he was a suspect in Etan’s disappearance, he was never charged.
Last month, police officers visited the apartment building in the Bronx where Mr. [name withheld] said he would be living. No one there knew Mr. [name withheld], and the cousin no longer lived there. The police eventually tracked down the cousin at a different address in the borough; she told a detective that she had not seen or spoken to Mr. [name withheld] in about 35 years, and that she would not allow him to live with her.
At the time of Etan’s disappearance, Mr. [name withheld] lived on the Lower East Side, about a mile from where the Patz family lived, and was an acquaintance of a woman who worked for the family as a baby sitter. He once admitted to investigators that he was with Etan on the day he vanished, but has denied kidnapping or killing the boy, who was 6.
The Patz family then pursued a wrongful-death suit against Mr. [name withheld]. In 2001, a judge declared that Etan was legally dead; three years later, Mr. [name withheld] was deemed responsible for the boy’s death. The judgment arose from Mr. [name withheld]’s refusal to answer questions under oath about the disappearance.
In May, another man, Pedro Hernandez, confessed to killing Etan and was charged with second-degree murder. Mr. [name withheld] refused requests to be interviewed after Mr. Hernandez’s arrest.