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Etan Patz Killer Diagnosed With Cancer, Placed On Suicide Watch [VIDEO]

Pedro Hernandez, the Maple Shade man who confessed to the murder of Etan Patz 33 years ago today was recently diagnosed with cancer and this morning was examined by psychologists.

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez (WCAU TV)

Police say Pedro Hernandez was taken to Bellevue Hospital early Friday to get medication for an existing health problem. While he was there, psychologists questioned him about his mental state. Police wouldn’t disclose the existing health condition.

PREVIOUS: NYPD Reopens Etan Patz Disappearance

His court-appointed lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, arrived at the courthouse late in the morning and declined to comment, saying he hadn’t met with his client yet.

He asked reporters to be respectful of some of Hernandez’s relatives assembled at the courthouse, including his wife, daughter and another man, who huddled together on a wooden bench, turning away interview requests for more than an hour. “It’s a tough day. The family is upset. Please give them some
space,” Fishbein said.

Hernandez will be arraigned at his bedside later this afternoon.

A source close to Hernandez tells the Daily Mail of London that Hernandez, 51, was recently diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis “made him think about the skeletons in his closet” said the source.

His marriage to wife Rosemary had  been rough in the past few years. She had a restraining order against her husband and had only recently let him return home.

They lived together in Camden until 2007 when she moved in with her sister in Hamilton. Rosemary then moved to Maple Shade; Pedro recently moved back in unbeknownst to her landlord.”I did not know he had moved back in and he was not on the lease so should not have been there,” said the unidentified landlord to reporters.

Pedro Hernandez's home in Maple Shade
Pedro Hernandez's home in Maple Shade (WCAU TV)

She described Rosemary as a “good person” who paid her rent on time but did not ask questions about the reason for the restraining order. They have a daughter in college who is almost ready to graduate, are “deeply religious” and members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

The paper also reports that his actions haunted him for much of his adult life. After moving to Camden shortly after Patz’s disapperance, Hernandez told family members he had killed a boy but did not mention his name, sources said.

He also told a spiritual adviser in the 1980s about killing a child.

Hernandez told investigators this week he lured the little boy into the shop with the promise of a soda, then led him to the basement, choked him and put his body in a bag with some trash about a block away, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Investigators hadn’t determined any motive, he said. Kelly said there is no physical evidence. But authorities say they have a detailed, signed confession, as well as accounts of incriminating remarks Hernandez made to others.

Hernandez didn’t yet have a lawyer, police said.

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