NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The case of a 6-year-old boy who vanished in 1979 marked the end of an innocent era but has led to reforms that have helped save many children from a similar fate, a prosecutor said Tuesday at the 10-week trial of the man accused of killing him.
Etan Patz “is larger than his very little, important life,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in closing arguments at the 10-week-old Manhattan murder trial of Pedro Hernandez. She asked jurors to convict Hernandez of murder, saying he was a calculated killer who committed a terrible crime and then spent three decades trying to hide from it.
Hernandez confessed in 2012 in a case that has confounded law enforcement for decades. Etan’s body was never found, nor was any trace of clothing or his belongings. Hernandez had never been considered a suspect — his name appears only once in law enforcement paperwork at the time Etan disappeared.