Verdict reached in case of boy who vanished in NYC in 1979

Pedro Hernandez 54 who is accused of killing

His brother-in-law told cops that the former stock clerk, who worked at a bodega next to the school bus stop at the time Etan went missing, had once confessed to killing a little boy in New York City. "I'm really grateful that this jury finally came back with which I have known for a long time - that this man, Pedro Hernandez, is guilty of doing something really bad so many years ago".

Patz's body was never found, but his case helped usher in an era of vigilance.

"I am truly relieved and, I'll tell you, it's about time", he continued.

The jury found Hernandez guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

They said Hernandez's mental illness - which they said is similar to schizophrenia - and histories of delusions lead him to falsely believe he was responsible for Etan's killing. "He could tell fantasy from reality".

Pedro Hernandez stood stoically as jurors delivered their stinging verdict. The defense also said evidence points to another suspect with a connection to the family.

Etan, who vanished while heading to his New York City school bus stop in 1979, was among the first missing children whose face was put on milk cartons, and his case prompted many parents to stop letting their children roam their neighborhoods alone. And the day he disappeared - May 25 - was later designated National Missing Children's Day.

"It's a cautionary tale, a defining moment, a loss of innocence", Asst. The judge ordered a retrial following a hung jury in 2015. He initially confessed to detectives, but later withdrew his confession.

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The conviction brought to a close what Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. called one of New York's "oldest and most painful unsolved crimes". Instead, they relied largely on Hernandez's confession and on statements he had made to others over the years referring to the kidnapping. "I just couldn't let go", Mr. Hernandez said in one of the interviews. "I felt so sorry".

Moments after the verdict was read Hernandez's defense attorney Harvey Fishbein promised there will be an appeal. His daughter testified that he talked about seeing visions of angels and demons and once watered a dead tree branch, believing it would grow.

But prosecutors suggested Hernandez faked or exaggerated his symptoms.

Ramos never faced criminal charges and has consistently denied having anything to do with Etan's death.

Ramos intrigued authorities by telling them that he had an encounter with a boy who could have been Etan on the day he vanished, and also made incriminating remarks to two informants who were placed in jail with him.

"And, ultimately, kind of heartbreaking".

Deliberations were hard, but "we had constructive conversations, based in logic, that were analytical and creative and adaptive, and compassionate", foreman Thomas Hoscheid said.

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