Manhattan District Attorney Plans Second Etan Patz Trial

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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced today he would seek a second trial in the Etan Patz child murder case that ended in a mistrial as the jury remained deadlocked after 18 days of deliberations.

"I think the evidence put in by our prosecutors was compelling and was clear," Vance said Monday on MNSBC. "It's a challenging case, I've never said otherwise, but it's a case we believe should be prosecuted. That's why we did, and in our system it happens from time to time that jurors cannot be unanimous and this was one of those cases," quote reported on www.nbcnewyork.com.

Patz who was last seen walking in his west village neighborhood, May 25, 1979, thirty five years ago, become the symbol for missing and exploited children and one of the first to be used on milk cartons in an extensive media and public awareness campaign that galvanized a nation to do more. The date of his disappearance May 25, has since been name Missing Children's Day.

Stanley Patz, Etan's Dad, stated after the deadlocked jury stunned even the most jaded New Yorkers with a verdict that seemed improbable and self-serving, "The family of Etan Patz has waited 36 years for a resolution as to what happened to our sweet little boy in 1979."

"We now have had about three months of trial testimony and jury deliberations, let me make very clear that we are frustrated and very disappointed that the jury has been unable to come to decision. Our long ordeal is not over," Patz said, in a videotaped statement for the media, after the mistrial was declared as quoted on www.nbcnewyork.com.

The disappearance of Etan Patz has haunted the NYPD. For decades, the child seemingly vanished. No one had seen anything. Theories of abduction, which kept hope alive, and worse that he may have been murdered were often discussed until time turned the case cold, with only the family of Etan, Stanley and Julie, holding vigil working the theories.

Until one day a break in the case detectives hoped would come, did. They received a phone call indicating Pedro Hernandez, 54, a married man, living a quiet life in New Jersey confessed to the murder.

Hernandez repeatedly offered detectives a confession and information only the killer could have.

Finally after 35 years Hernandez was arrested, held without bail for the murder of Etan Patz.

Patz, according to the confession was lured into the basement of the bodega by Hernandez with the offer of soda. Hernandez has said he strangled the body until "he went limp" and stuffed him in a "banana box." He indicated he carried the child out of the store and tossed him in an alley.

The body of Etan Patz has never been found.

This is a continuing story.

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