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Etan Patz Murder Trial: Mistrial Declared In 1979 Case Of Missing NYC Boy

Fri, May 8, 2015 6:41pm EDT by Chris Rogers 3 Comments
Courtesy of NYPD

So sad. A judge declared a mistrial in the trial of Pedro Hernandez, a deli worker who’s accused of killing Etan Patz, 6, and stuffing him in a box in NYC in 1979. The judge made his shocking decision after the jury said they were deadlocked.

After three weeks of deliberations, a judge declared a mistrial in the case against Pedro Hernandez, the man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz and stuffing him in a box in 1979. The judge announced his decision, despite Pedro’s confession, after the jury said they were deadlocked for the third time — just one juror was unconvinced that Pedro is guilty.

Etan Patz Murder Trial: NYC Judge Declares Mistrial In 1979 Pedro Hernandez Case

Etan went missing in 1979 when he walked to the bus stop alone for the very first time, PEOPLE reports. For three decades, no one knew what happened to the adorable little boy. He was actually the first missing child to ever be featured on a milk carton.

In 2012, everything changed. Pedro, 54, who worked at a deli near the bus stop, allegedly confessed to murdering Etan, saying he strangled the 6-year-old, stuffed him in a box, and threw him in the trash. Despite the confession, Ethan’s body was never found.

Pedro’s attorney has tried dismissing the confession, saying his client hears voices and “cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not,” the news site claims.

This might be why one juror found it hard to believe that Pedro would commit such a crime. Because of his uncertainty, the judge declared a mistrial.

“I don’t want to get teary over this,” Etan’s father, Stan Patz, told reporters in Manhattan, following the mistrial announcement, according to Daily Mail. “Etan was a beautiful, outgoing, friendly, curious little kid. He would have made a great adult. That’s what got him killed — because he was willing to go with this a**hole down the stairs.”

Our thoughts go out to Etan’s family during this difficult time. We hope they find some sort of peace, despite the mistrial.

— Chris Rogers