The case that has haunted New York for more than three decades will soon be in the hands of a jury. On Monday, jurors heard closing arguments in the case against a 54-year-old New Jersey man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz on May 25, 1979, as the boy walked to school for the first time on his own.
Pedro Hernandez confessed to the crime in 2012 in a case that has confounded law enforcement for decades. Etan’s body was never found, nor any trace of clothing or his belongings.
Hernandez was a teenage stock clerk in SoHo at the time Etan disappeared but had never been considered a suspect. His name appears in law enforcement paperwork only one time during their lengthy probe. The Maple Shade, New Jersey, man made the stunning admissions after police received a tip from a relative that he may have been involved in the case.
Etan’s photo was one of the first on milk cartons. His disappearance, along with other children, helped galvanize the national missing children’s movement. May 25 has been named National Missing Children’s Day.
Prosecutors begin their closing arguments on Tuesday. Read more here.