May 25, 1979: Etan Patz, 6, leaves his SoHo building for his first-even walk alone to the school bus stop. He disappears after walking out the door, and the search goes on for months.
1990: U.S. Attorney Stuart R. GraBois announces he believes a man charged in a 1985 Pennsylvania child-molestation case, Jose Ramos, is a suspect in Patz’s disappearance.
1998: GraBois says he believes Patz is dead and that Ramos is the suspect.
2000: Detectives search a Lower East Side basement where Ramos had lived, hoping for evidence in the case.
2001: A judge declares Patz legally dead so that the family can pursue a wrongful death suit against Ramos.
2004: State Supreme Court Justice Barbara R. Kapnick declares Ramos responsible for Patz’s murder. The family is awarded $2 million, which they never collected.
2009: Cyrus Vance Jr., campaigning for Manhattan district attorney, promises to reopen the case if elected.
2010: Vance announces he has reopened the case.
April 19, 2012: The FBI and NYPD resume the search for Patz with a plan to dig up the floor of a basement near where Patz disappeared. The basement is connected to a handyman who police said had contact with the boy, and had a new concrete floor after he went missing.
April 23, 2012: Authorities conclude their search of the basement, with no obvious evidence gathered. Some items were sent to an FBI lab for further analysis.
May 24, 2012: Police announce the arrest of former bodega stock clerk Pedro Hernandez after receiving a tip that they say was generated because of the previous month’s attention to the cold case. Police said Hernandez confessed to luring Patz into the store where he worked and then taking him to the basement, where he strangled him.
(Source: NBC New York)