The painful search for Esther.

Baltimore Fifth-Grader Esther Lebowitz's Killer Dies in Prison

The convicted murderer of an 11-year-old Jewish girl in 1969 in Baltimore has died in prison.

Wayne Stephen Young, who had been sentenced to life for the murder of Esther Lebowitz, a fifth-grader at a Jewish school, was awaiting a retrial in the case over a technicality. He was denied parole 12 times.

READ: The Forward’s Past Coverage of The Case

Young, 69, died in prison on Dec. 23, the Northwest Citizens Patrol said in a statement posted Monday on the website of Baltimore Jewish Life, a news website of the Baltimore Orthodox Jewish community, citing the state’s attorney in the case.

Attorneys for Young had requested the new trial based on a 2012 ruling by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the state’s highest court, which found that many convictions before 1980 are invalid because jurors were given unconstitutional instructions.

Lebowitz, who attended the Bais Yaakov School for Girls, was missing for two days before her body was found about a half-mile from her Baltimore home. She died from 17 blows to the head.

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Baltimore Fifth-Grader Esther Lebowitz's Killer Dies in Prison

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