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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Etan Patz America's Milk Carton Missing Child


It is one of the longest missing children cold cases running in America, going on 33 years from the day six year old Etan Patz disappeared from the SoHo district of Manhattan New York. On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz was walking to the bus stop by himself, for the first time, ever. In just two short blocks from the loft his parents called home Etan seemed to literally disappear into thin air.

In an article I wrote for BellaOnline back in 2009, I focused on Etan Patzís disappearance and how in 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared May 25 National Missing Childrenís Day. The search for Etan Patzís fueled the cause for missing children in America and Etan was one of the first missing children to have his picture on milk cartons. Anyone who has seen Etanís photograph could never forget the beautiful tousled blonde hair blue-eyed little boy.

Throughout the years following his disappearance the search for Etan Patz has been fueled simply by the love of his father, Stanley Patz. Stanley Patz, a professional photographer has frequently provided the media with pictures of six year old Etan. Since Etanís disappearance in 1979 the spotlight has focused on Jose Antonio Ramos, a convicted sex offender, serving twenty years in prison for the molestation of an eight year old boy in the 80ís.

Ramos previously dated Etanís nanny and was accused of molesting her young son during their relationship. When authorities interviewed Ramos during the initial investigation 33 years ago, Ramos told police he had a young boy in his apartment that day but later made it clear he let the boy go without hurting him. Jose Ramos was known as a homeless drifter with a lengthy criminal record in several states. When he was arrested for another crime he had pictures of blonde haired young boys in his backpack.

The reality is no one knows how many children Ramos may have come into contact with throughout his lifetime, however, several of the sex offenders former cellmates have contacted authorities regarding what they were told about Etan Patzís disappearance. Stanley and Julia Patz believe Jose Ramos is the man responsible for their sonís disappearance in 1979. Unfortunately, authorities could not legally charge Ramos without any forensic evidence.

So, in 2001, the Patzís had the State of New York declare their son legally deceased in order to sue Ramos in a civil court proceeding in the wrongful death of their son. Then in 2004, the court awarded Stanley and Julia Patz two million dollars and declared Ramos responsible for Etanís kidnapping and death. The judge required Ramos to submit to a taped deposition under oath with his lawyer to answer legal questions about the boyís disappearance. Ramos has refused to cooperate. He is scheduled to be paroled later this year at the age of 69.

Last week, the case heated up after specially trained cadaver dogs identified the scent of human remains on special odor absorbing forensic material placed in a basement workshop near where Etan was last seen. According to ABC News in an exclusive report titled, Etan Patz: Officials Discuss How the Case Was Reopened, ďFederal agents and New York City police began Thursday to tear up the concrete floor of the basement at 127 Prince St. By Saturday much of the digging had been done, and chunks of concrete large and small had been lifted up and outĒ. Back in 1979, this basement workshop was used by a local handyman and family friend of the Patzís, Othniel Miller and it is alleged Jose Ramos had access to this same area.

Although authorities are cautiously optimistic regarding this new forensic evidence they are not commenting about any findings at this time. Stanley and Julia Patz still live in the same loft at 113 Prince Street where their six year old son asked his parents to allow him to walk the his bus stop by himself, because all his friends did. It will be 33 years ago (next month) that Etan Patz headed off to school by himself as his mother watched from the balcony above. In less than two blocks Etan Patz seemed to disappear into thin airÖ

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Etan Patz please contact your local police department, the FBI, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST or 1-800-843-5678. You can remain anonymous, but please call. Stanley and Julia Patz deserve to know what happened to their precious son.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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