In April of 2012 I accompanied a friend to NYC for a quick two day trip. She had a work training session and I was getting ready to move to Japan so we saw it as a great opportunity for us to escape for a couple of days of BFF time.
The second day we were in NYC we were wandering around SoHo and kept having to deviate our route due to police road blocks. We didn’t really know what was going on, but we knew it had to be big because of the number of cops in the vicinity as well as the television news crews in the area. We stopped and asked a reporter and were told that the police were searching a basement for clues in a missing child case.
Later in the day we stumbled upon the newspaper pictured above. It turns out we witnessed the reinvestigation of the Etan Patz case. Etan Patz was a six year old boy who disappeared on his way to school in 1979. He was never found, but his case spurred the ‘missing children milk carton’ campaign and Etan’s pictures were also printed on posters and projected in Times’ Square.
Two men have been suspects/convicted for the disappearance of Etan Patz. According to Wiki, Jose Antonio Ramos was tried in a civil case and was convicted in 2004 but has since been released. Pedro Hernandez, a man who ran the local store where Etan is said to have visited, has since confessed to killing Etan. Hernandez’s family has stated that he ‘openly confessed’ to Etan’s murder in church but no one reported it to the authorities. Hernandez is presently in jail awaiting trial and has plead ‘not guilty’ to two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. Time will tell if justice is served.
May 25th marks the anniversary of Etan’s disappearance. It is commemorated as National Missing Children’s Day. This day will have much more meaning to me now that I know the history and witnessed such a historic event.