The family of Etan Patz, the Jewish boy whose 1979 disappearance became national news, is convinced that Jose Ramos, the sex offender who was convicted in 2004 is innocent — so much so that they’ve filed court papers to have him sprung.
The New York Times reports that Stan Patz filed an affidavit with the State Supreme Court of Manhattan on Wednesday morning asking to overturn the 2004 conviction of Ramos.
They did so ahead of next month’s retrial of Pedro Hernandez, who has confessed to the slaying and who Julie and Stan Patz are convinced is their son’s slayer.
Hernandez was 18 at the time of Patz’s disappearance and worked at a bodega near the young boy’s home.
In a highly disputed confession in 2012, he said he strangled the boy in the basement of the store, put his body into a box and left it in an alley. He was tried in May 2015, but after 18 days the jury could not reach a verdict and it was declared a mistrial. His second trial is expected to begin in March.
A judge ruled in 2004 that Ramos, a convicted pedophile already serving time in Pennsylvania was responsible for the death of Patz.
Ramos did not comply with an order to answer questions under oath and the judge filed a judgment against him. In the affidavit, Stan Patz states he was not aware of the evidence against Hernandez at the time of the Ramos’ trial.
Etan Patz was six years old when he disappeared while walking from his home in SoHo to the school bus two blocks away. His disappearance sparked the formation of the missing child movement, which included the milk carton campaigns of the 1980s. The date of his disappearance, May 25, was designated National Missing Children’s Day in the United States.