Ruling in Etan Patz case | suspect Pedro Hernandez - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Etan Patz case to proceed, judge rules

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By JENNIFER PELTZ | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- A judge has declined to throw out a murder case against a man charged decades after an infamous 1979 child disappearance in New York City.

The ruling came Wednesday in the case against Pedro Hernandez of Maple Shade, N.J.

He was charged last year with killing 6-year-old Etan Patz. Etan was last seen walking to his school bus stop in Manhattan.

Etan became one of the first vanished children to be pictured on a milk carton.

Hernandez's attorney asked a judge to dismiss the case. The lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, says Hernandez is mentally ill and his confession to investigators was false.

The Manhattan district attorney's office said there was enough evidence to sustain the charges. Prosecutors say they don't believe Hernandez's confession is the product of mental illness.

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