(JTA) — Prosecutors requested a second trial for the accused killer of 6-year-old Etan Patz after a mistrial was declared.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley declared the mistrial on Friday after twice ordering the jury to continue deliberating when it said it could not reach a verdict. The jury had deliberated for 18 days, since April 15.
The suspect, Pedro Hernandez, will remain in jail while awaiting the second trial.
“We are frustrated and very disappointed the jury has been unable to make a decision,” said Stanley Patz, Etan’s father. “The long ordeal is not over,”
Jury members said afterward that the vote was 11-1 in favor of convicting Hernandez, 54, a disabled factory worker who confessed in 2012 to killing Etan in 1979. The defense claimed that the confession was the result of Hernandez’s mental incapacities exacerbated by several hours of police questioning.
Etan, who was Jewish, went missing on May 25, 1979, in the SoHo area of New York City after walking to a bus stop by himself for the first time. He was among the first missing children to have his face pictured on a milk carton. His body and personal effects were never found.
Jose Ramos, 68, a convicted pedophile who served a 20-year prison sentence for molesting a young boy, was declared responsible for Etan’s death in a 2004 civil case.