NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI) -- Rosemary Hernandez, wife of the man who allegedly killed 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979, said her husband has long had mental issues, her lawyer said.
Speaking for the first time about Pedro Hernandez' confession that he strangled the boy at the New York City store where he worked, Rosemary Hernandez, through her newly hired lawyer Robert Gottlieb, said her husband has "suffered from delusions for years."
Gottlieb said she "asked me to assist her in making sure the district attorney understands the severity of her husband's mental illness. He has suffered from delusions and other mental illnesses for years," the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
Last week, Hernandez told police he killed the boy, and police have said he told relatives years ago he killed an unnamed boy, the newspaper said.
Mrs. Hernandez hired Gottlieb last week after she was repeatedly pursued by New York Police Department detectives in an attempt to persuade her to corroborate her husband's claims, Gottlieb said.
"Rosemary feels the police have harassed her, even though she cooperated fully with them when her husband was arrested," he said.