Etan’s Disappearance: Judge declares case as Mistrial

In 1979, when a young boy got disappeared, it created a shock wave across the nation. The case was in court for so many, which has now ended an agonizing stalemate.

On Friday, jurors for the third time have stated that they were hopelessly deadlocked, 11-1, in favor of conviction of Pedro Hernandez, who has confessed that he choked Etan Patz, 6, to death and then dumped his body a few blocks away.

The jurors have declared the case as a mistrial. The announcement has lead Etan's parents with no other option but to wait for another trial. "We are frustrated and very disappointed the jury has been unable to make a decision. The long ordeal is not over. But I think we have closure already", said his father, Stanley Patz.

Hernandez was a teen age clerk at a Manhattan convenience store near the place from where Etan got disappeared on May 25, 1979. In 2012, Hernandez confessed of killing Etan. But his lawyers said that the confession was wrong and due to mental illness. The lawyers said that it was another longtime suspect who was the killer.

Prosecutors have asked to set a new trial in the case. Now, Hernandez will remain in jail and wait for another trial. On June 10, he will have court update. Several jurors have affirmed that they found Hernandez's confession to be forceful. They think that his mental problems were the result of the confession he had made.

Jurors said that they were deadlocked. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said that there are challenges in the case, but they should not deter them. After Etan's disappearance helped to come with such laws that can make it easier to track missing children and communicate among agencies.