A former store clerk was convicted Tuesday in one of the nation's most haunting missing-child cases, nearly 38 years after 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared while heading to his school bus stop.
Pedro Hernandez showed no reaction as jurors delivered their verdict. Another jury had deadlocked following 18 days of deliberation in 2015, leading to a retrial that spanned more than three months. Hernandez, who once worked in a convenience store in Etan's neighborhood, had confessed, but his lawyers said his admissions were the false imaginings of a mentally ill man.
This time, the jury deliberated over nine days before finding Hernandez, 56, guilty of murder during a kidnapping in a case that shaped both parenting and law enforcement practices in the United States.
The Patz family and authorities may never know exactly what became of the boy. No trace of him has been found since the May day he vanished, on the first day he got the grown-up privilege of walking alone to the bus stop about two blocks away in a then-edgy but neighborly part of lower Manhattan.