The man who has confessed to killing a six-year-old boy who went missing in New York in 1979 is expected in court on Friday.
Pedro Hernandez of Maple Shade, New Jersey, was arrested on Thursday after he told police he choked Etan Patz to death.
Mr Hernandez, 51, worked in a convenience shop near the Patz family home in Manhattan, New York.
Etan vanished while walking to a school bus stop on his own for the first time.
He became one of the first to appear on milk cartons asking for information about missing children.
Prosecutors are expected to file second-degree murder charges against Mr Hernandez, CNN reports.
It is 33 years to the day since Etan went missing.
‘Feeling of relief’
“We believe that this is the individual responsible for the crime,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Thursday, adding that Mr Hernandez was “remorseful, and I think the detectives thought that it was a feeling of relief on his part”.
According to Mr Kelly, Mr Hernandez allegedly had lured the boy “with the promise of a soda”. After leading the boy into the basement he “choked him there and disposed of the body by placing him in a plastic bag and placing it in the trash”.
Analysis by Laura Trevelyan BBC News, New York
The image of Etan Patz’s smiling face, framed by his fair hair, haunted Americans in the 1980s as they saw it on their milk cartons nationwide.
Etan’s disappearance helped launch a national missing children’s movement. The harrowing story of how a six-year-old vanished while walking to the school bus stop for the very first time prompted American parents to curb their children’s independence.
Today it’s almost impossible to think of a six-year-old being given such freedom, but back in 1979, it was common.
No body or bag was ever recovered.
Mr Kelly told reporters that police took Mr Hernandez back to the scene of the crime, which is now a shop selling spectacles. When the incident took place, Mr Hernandez had been stacking shelves at the small grocery shop for about a month.
While other employees of the shop were interviewed around the time of Etan’s disappearance, Mr Hernandez was not.
“I can’t tell you why,” Mr Kelly said.
Mr Hernandez worked in construction until he suffered a back injury in 1993. He had no previous criminal record, the police commissioner said.
But the 51-year-old told relatives and others, as far back as 1981, that he had “done something bad”.
Mr Kelly said police had already informed Etan’s family of the development in the case.
“We can only hope that these developments bring some measure of peace to the family,” he said.
Etan’s parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, became outspoken advocates for missing children in the years after their son’s disappearance.
The couple have not moved since his disappearance and for years refused to change their phone number, hoping that Etan was alive.
Lt Christopher Zimmerman told reporters that “Mr Patz was taken aback, a little surprised, and I would say overwhelmed, to a degree”.
“I think after everything Mr Patz has gone through, he handled it very well.”
Investigators last month searched a handyman’s former workshop near the Patz family home.
In an apparent breakthrough for the decades-old investigation, the Manhattan basement flat was excavated over four days. But no obvious human remains and little forensic evidence were found.
The handyman, Othniel Miller, has been questioned by detectives over the past year. But he denies having anything to do with his disappearance.
*Article by BBC*