30 years later the milk carton kid Etan Patz is still missing

May 14th, 2009 - 12:15 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Etan Patz Each morning when American’s sit down to breakfast many are greeted by the faces of children who have gone missing. The photos of missing children on milk cartons dates back over 20 years to when Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy disappeared on his way to school in the New York Bronx.

Despite only having a two block walk to the bus stop, Etan vanished on May 25, 1979 and the combined efforts of hundreds of police, neighbors and bloodhounds failed to find any trace of the youngster.

Etan’s disappearance inspired the missing children’s movement, which raises awareness of child abductions, and which pioneered the milk carton campaigns of the mid-1980s, with Etan’s photo being the first used.

On average 2,000 children a year are reported missing in the United States with an estimated 100 per year ending up killed by their abductors.

In less than two years time the prime suspect in the disappearance of Etan Patz, a drifter by the name of Jose Antonio Ramos, will be released from a Pennsylvania prison where he is currently serving a 10- to 20-year sentence for child molestation.

Despite having had a series of informants planted in his cell over the years, prosecutors still lack the evidence necessary to charge Ramos over the disappearance of Etan.

Though the Patz’s had Etan declared officially dead in a wrongful-death suit against Ramos in 2001, the New York Police Department still regard Etan’s disappearance as a cold case and plans are afoot to question Ramos further upon his release.

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