NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Day three of the trial against the man accused of killing Etan Patz saw gut-wrenching testimony from a neighbor who saw the little boy every day as she recounted the day he disappeared.
“I can honestly say I don’t think that pain will ever go away, the pain of his loss,” said a Patz family friend, Karen Jansons.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, it was Jansons who got on board the school bus on May 25, 1979, looking for Etan.
The 6-year-old left his lunch box by the bodega the day before. Jansons found it and wanted to make sure he got it back.
But when she boarded the bus that Friday morning 35 years ago, she couldn’t find Etan. Later that night, Jansons’ husband told her Etan was missing.
“When he told me Etan was missing, it was just unbelievable to me,” she said.
Jansons testified Tuesday in the trial against Pedro Hernandez, the man who prosecutors claim lured Etan into the corner bodega with promises of soda and then killed him.
Jansons has a daughter of the same age as Etan who caught a school bus nearby. The memory of Etan’s disappearance without a trace from their Soho neighborhood and the frantic search for the boy still haunts them both.
“My daughter told me, Jocelyn told me, that she still has anxiety about something like that happening to her kids,” Jasons said. “So I think he deserves justice. Etan deserves, his family deserves it.”
Jansons still lives in Soho, where she sees Patz’s parents often. They’ve lived in the same loft since 1979, hoping that one day Etan would come back, Schneider reported.
The jury also heard from Etan’s best friend, Chelsea Altman, who testified she had a clear memory of saving him a seat on the bus that Friday he disappeared because their families were planning to go to the country together for the Labor Day weekend, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.