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In NYC missing boy case, complex question of duty
In NY missing boy case, account of church-group confession spotlights complex question of duty
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Police and relatives of the man newly charged with murdering a New York City boy in 1979 have said the suspect told people decades ago that he killed a child.

That account raises a sensitive legal and philosophical question: What are people supposed to do with information like that?

In the U.S., relatives, friends and bystanders may well not be legally required to report such information to authorities. But ethics experts say people have a moral duty to do so.

New York City police learned just last month about Pedro Hernandez's alleged confession in a 1980s prayer group. Police say he then told them he'd strangled 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn paytz) in 1979.

Hernandez's lawyer has said his client is schizophrenic. Hernandez hasn't entered a plea.

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