As police searched for a missing 6-year-old boy named Etan Patz, they jotted down the name of a teenage shop worker they met. But they didn’t expect the clerk would become their suspect more than three decades later.
After 35 years, Pedro Hernandez is going on trial in a case that shaped the nation’s response to missing children.
Opening statements are scheduled Friday. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Etan vanished in May 1979. He became one of the first missing children pictured on milk cartons.
In 2012, Hernandez gave a videotaped confession. Prosecutors say also he made incriminating remarks to friends and relatives in the 1980s.
His lawyers calls his confession false. They also note that a convicted Pennsylvania child molester was suspected for years in Etan’s disappearance.