Child Molester Found Responsible For Etan Patz's Disappearance
05/04/2004 06:56 PM
A Manhattan judge ruled Tuesday that an imprisoned child molester is responsible for the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz more than 20 years ago.
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Patz vanished in 1979 while walking from his Lower Manhattan home to a bus stop two blocks away, leading to one of the most extensive missing child searches ever. Patz was legally declared dead in 2001.
A judge has declared Jose Ramos responsible for Etan's death because Ramos refused the judge's order to answer deposition questions under oath for a lawyer representing the boy's parents.
"I don't think there was ever going to be a good outcome from the day Etan disappeared,” said Stanley Patz, Etan’s father. “The best we could hope for was to find him and find him immediately, but that didn't happen."
The Patz family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in 2001 against Ramos, who was always the chief suspect in Etan's disappearance.
Ramos was already serving a 20-year sentence for molesting an 8-year-old boy.
The Etan Patz case prompted a nationwide effort to recover missing children, including the practice of printing faces on milk cartons.