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NJ Police Have No Record of Tip From Sister of Acccused Etan Patz Killer

NEW YORK — Police in Camden, N.J., shot down a claim Wednesday that they had missed a chance to capture accused Etan Patz killer Pedro Hernandez decades ago, according to a report.

Hernandez's sister, Norma Hernandez, claims she told Camden cops in the 1980s that her brother had killed a child in New York, but she said police never followed up on the tip.  

However, after searching their files, Camden police said Wednesday that they have no record of Norma Hernandez ever filing a report on her brother, the New York Daily News reported.

“With any person who comes into the police station, and brings any information to our attention, a reportable crime, whether it be a recent event or a historic event, we take appropriate action,” Camden Deputy Chief Michael Lynch told the News.

Pedro Hernandez, 51, a New Jersey resident, was charged last week with murder after confessing to luring 6-year-old Patz from his SoHo bus stop and strangling him in the basement of a nearby bodega 33 years ago.

If Camden police had received a tip on the case in the 1980s, they would have immediately forwarded it to the NYPD, Lynch told the News.

Still, Camden County's prosecutor told the News that records do not go back far enough to determine whether Norma Hernandez made a report.

Camden police did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.

Norma Hernandez declined to speak to reporters outside her Camden home Wednesday morning.

She told reporters earlier this week that she contacted the Camden police after hearing that her brother had confessed the crime to his church group in the early 1980s.

The NYPD is interviewing members of Pedro Hernandez's church group this week, to see if anyone remembers the confession.

Details of an earlier confession could support the case against Hernandez. There is no physical evidence in the case, and Patz's body was never found.

Hernandez, who was 18 when Patz disappeared, suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and is prone to hallucinations, his lawyer said last week.

Hernandez is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and will next appear in court June 25.