'Lies Can Kill A Family,' Says Sister of Etan Patz's Suspected Killer

By Jess WisloskiAlan Neuhauser and Murray Weiss  on June 9, 2012 2:18pm

Pedro Hernandez's wife and daughter leaving their home in Maple Shade, N.J. on May 24, 2012.
Pedro Hernandez's wife and daughter leaving their home in Maple Shade, N.J. on May 24, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Nick Rizzi

CAMDEN, N.J. — The sister of the man who confessed to killing Etan Patz ripped into news outlets that have leaped to conclusions about the guilt of her brother, Pedro Hernandez, in the disappearance of the 6-year-old boy in 1979.

"A lie can kill a family, and that's what they're doing," said Norma Hernandez, who spoke in front of her home in Camden, N.J., about news reports on Friday that linked children's clothing found in the home of Pedro Hernandez to the missing boy. DNAinfo.com New York has since reported that the connection was bogus.

"I don't even read anymore," said Hernandez, 54, who added that press reports misrepresenting her have ruined her relationship with relatives in recent weeks.

"I have a brother in jail, and my family won't talk to me," she said.

Several news outlets reported Friday that the clothes may provide clues to Etan's disappearance, but sources told DNAinfo.com New York that was not likely for two reasons.

“The clothes are too f-ing big and could not fit [Etan],” a law enforcement source told DNAinfo. Additionally, the black pilot cap, blue corduroy jacket, blue pants, and blue sneakers with fluorescent stripes that Etan was wearing the day he disappeared were not what was recovered, sources said.

Sources also debunked another supposed clue — a Matchbox car — found in Hernandez’s Maple Shade, N.J., home during a search on Thursday, saying they believe it belonged to one of Hernandez's relatives, or his daughter, since it appeared to have been manufactured within the last 33 years.

Rosemary Hernandez, the wife of the alleged killer, was not at the family's home Saturday, and a neighbor said he believed she had been staying elsewhere following the police search Thursday.

"You don't know how tiring it is until you walk in the shoes," said Norma Hernandez, who was tidying up her lawn Saturday morning. "I'm tired, I'm really tired."

Hernandez, who has been diagnosed as a delusional schizophrenic, “confessed” that he killed Patz, who disappeared in 1979, on May 24, but police continue to search for hard evidence that would support his account.

Norma Hernandez's home, in Camden.
Norma Hernandez's home, in Camden.
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DNAinfo/Alan Neuhauser
Pedro Hernandez, 67, told authorities on May 23, 2012 that he killed Etan Patz in 1979.
Pedro Hernandez, 67, told authorities on May 23, 2012 that he killed Etan Patz in 1979.
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