By: Esmeralda Molina
The story of the first missing child on the milk carton is back. In 1979, six year old, Etan Kalil Patz, was walking to school, but never made it. His teacher noticed his absence, but did not report it. When he did not come home that day, his mother called the police. This was the crime that shattered Manhattan’s sense of safety.
Etan was declared legally dead in 2001.
In 2004 Jose Antonio Ramos was declared at fault for Etan’s death, but was never prosecuted criminally for it. When Ramos was first questioned, he stated that on the same day Etan disappeared, he took a boy back to his apartment to rape him, but he later sent him on his way on the subway.
In 2010, the case reopened. After four days of searching the basement near the Patz home, the police found nothing conclusive.
On May 24, 2012, Pedro Hernandez confessed to murdering six year old, Etan Patz. Hernandez was born in Puerto Rico and arrived in the U.S. in 1970. By 1979, he was working in a bodega in New York. Hernandez told the police he saw Etan walking to his bus stop on May 25, 1979, and offered him a soda.
Etan followed Hernandez into the bodega. It was then that Hernandez claims to have strangled Etan, then later threw him in a garbage can.
According to his family, Hernandez has been talking about his killing of a little boy in New York since the event took place, but they did not think much of it because of his past with mental problems.
Hernandez was charged with second degree murder, and authorities continued the search to find evidence to support his confession.
The case has now opened once again, with the question of who can sit on the jury bench for this trial. The new argument made falls into the category of having made a false confession because of his mental illness. The defense attorney brought Hernandez’s problem up to show the public what went through his head on the day Etan was killed.