Pedro Hernandez, the man who confessed to the 1979 murder of Etan Patz, may have taken credit for the crime long before now.

Hernandez actually confessed to the murder of the six-year-old at his church prayer group three decades ago, but no one reported him to the authorities.

Thomas Rivera, who led the prayer group back then, admits that he heard Hernandez' confession.

Rivera, 76, who was questioned by NYPD detectives last week and asked to keep quiet, said he did not contact police "because (Hernandez) did not confess to me" in a one-on-one setting, the paper reported.

Detectives may use the original confession as proof of the crime. The more recent confession has been questioned due to the killer's dual diagnoses of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Pedro's sister Milagros Hernandez apologized the Patz family on behalf of the 12 Hernandez brothers and sisters. "We are deeply sorry to the family if our brother had anything to do with this," she said, "and we are praying for them."

[Image via AP]