NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A prosecutor trying a suspect for murder in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz says she misspoke when she told a judge police interviewed a man who called claiming to be the boy.
Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court Thursday she was correcting the record to reflect the man with the last name “Dillion” told police that a childhood classmate might have been Etan.
Dozens of people have called authorities claiming to be Etan over the years since the 6-year-old vanished on his way to school in SoHo. Prosecutors say they have received other calls during Pedro Hernandez‘s trial.
Hernandez confessed to choking Etan in 1979 in the basement of the convenience store where he worked, then tossing the body with trash a few blocks away. Etan’s body was never found. Hernandez said he lured the boy to the basement with a promise of a soda.
Etan’s disappearance ushered in a new protectiveness into American parenting. He became one of the first missing children featured on milk cartons. His parents advocated for legislation that created a nationwide law-enforcement framework to address such cases.
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