10 years ago on April 19th, 2012
The case of Etan Patz is reopened and FBI and NYPD search a SoHo basement for evidence
What happened to Etan Patz has been an enduring mystery ever since the 6-year-old's disappearance in Soho in 1979, but his family hoped for a conclusion in 2012 when the FBI searched the basement of a building near Etan's home. A cadaver-detecting dog identified the basement of the building as possibly containing human remains, which led the FBI and NYPD to search the scene for evidence. Although the search found no new evidence, the NYPD announced one month later that they had received a written confession from Pedro Hernandez, a convenience store worker in the area who was 18 years old at the time of Etan's disappearance. He confessed to the killing and disposing of the child, and in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison.
In recognition of Etan Patz, the day of his disappearance, May 25, is designated as National Missing Children's Day, a day of remembrance and a reminder for the public to remain vigilant for anyone featured on a missing persons poster.