NEW YORK (AP) — A former store clerk convicted of killing 6-year-old New York boy Etan Patz (AY’-tahn payts) in 1979 has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
Maple Shade, New Jersey, resident Pedro Hernandez’s sentencing Tuesday was the culmination of a long quest to hold someone criminally accountable in one of America’s most influential missing-child cases.
Etan’s disappearance affected police practices, parenting and the nation’s consciousness of missing children. Etan was among the first missing children pictured on milk cartons.
Hernandez was a teenager working at a convenience shop in Etan’s neighborhood when the boy vanished while walking to his school bus stop.
Now 56, Hernandez wasn’t a suspect until police got a tip in 2012. Hernandez then confessed.
His lawyers say he’s mentally ill and his admissions were false.
Etan’s parents say they’ll “never forgive” him.