Etan Patz: NY police have suspect in custody in missing boy case

NY police say they have a person in custody who has implicated himself in the death of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old whose 1979 disappearance helped launch the campaign that put missing children's photos on milk cartons.

Reuters
Stanly Patz, father of Etan Patz, watched New York City police from his fire escape in April 2012 as they search for clues in the 1979 disappearance of his son. That search turned up nothing, but NY police today say they have a person in custody who has implicated himself in the Etan's death.

The New York City police commissioner said today a person who's in custody has implicated himself in the death of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy whose disappearance 33 years ago on his way to school helped launch a missing children's movement that put kids' faces on milk cartons.

Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement that further details would be released later Thursday.

Etan vanished on May 25, 1979, while walking alone to his school bus stop for the first time, two blocks from his home in New York's SoHo neighborhood.

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There was an exhaustive search by the police and a crush of media attention. The boy's photo was one of the first of a missing child on a milk carton. Thousands of fliers were plastered around the city, buildings canvassed, hundreds of people interviewed. SoHo was not a neighborhood of swank boutiques and galleries as now, but of working-class New Yorkers rattled by the news.

The April excavation of a Manhattan basement yielded no obvious human remains and little forensic evidence that would help solve the decades-long mystery of what happened to the boy.

His parents, Stan and Julie Patz, were reluctant to move or even change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out. They still live in the same apartment, down the street from the building that was examined in April.

The family did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

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