3:30 p.m.

A mistrial has been declared in the murder trial of a man accused of kidnapping and killing 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn payts) in 1979.

Jurors said Friday that they were hopelessly deadlocked in the case against Pedro Hernandez after 18 days of deliberations. The Maple Shade, New Jersey, resident made a surprise confession in 2012. He told authorities he choked Etan in the basement of a convenience store where he worked and dumped the body a few blocks away.

But prosecutors had no physical evidence linking Hernandez to the crime. Etan's body was never found. Defense attorneys suggested another man had committed the crime and said Hernandez was mentally ill.

The case has baffled authorities for decades.

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3:15 p.m.

The judge in the New York murder trial involving the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz says he is planning to call the deliberations to an end after jurors announced for a third time they were deadlocked.

Jurors have been deliberating the case against Pedro Hernandez since April 15. They announced they were deadlocked on April 29, Tuesday and Friday.

The judge said Friday that he planned to end deliberations. He is waiting for the jury to be brought back in to declare a mistrial.

Etan was among the first missing children pictured on milk cartons. The anniversary of his disappearance is National Missing Children's Day.

Hernandez made a confession in 2012. His lawyers say it's false, and they've pointed to another suspect who wasn't charged.

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3:10 p.m.

The jury deliberating in the murder trial of a man accused of kidnapping and killing 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn payts) in 1979 says it is deadlocked — for a third time.

Jurors have been deliberating the case against Pedro Hernandez since April 15. They had announced they were deadlocked twice before, on April 29 and Tuesday.

The judge on Friday has yet to decide how to respond.

Etan was among the first missing children pictured on milk cartons. The anniversary of his disappearance is National Missing Children's Day.

Hernandez made a confession in 2012. His lawyers say it's false, and they've pointed to another suspect who wasn't charged.