New York

Wrongful-death judgment nixed in NYC boy's '79 disappearance

FILE - In this April 24, 2014, file photo, Jose Ramos is led into the Luzerne County Courthouse for a hearing, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In an unrelated case in New York City, Ramos has been a longtime suspect in the notorious 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz. While never criminally charged in Etan’s case, he had been held civilly liable in a wrongful-death judgment. But last week, a judge reversed the judgment in a ruling filed July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/The Citizens' Voice, File, Mark Moran) MANDATORY CREDIT

FILE - In this April 24, 2014, file photo, Jose Ramos is led into the Luzerne County Courthouse for a hearing, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In an unrelated case in New York City, Ramos has been a longtime suspect in the notorious 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz. While never criminally charged in Etan’s case, he had been held civilly liable in a wrongful-death judgment. But last week, a judge reversed the judgment in a ruling filed July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/The Citizens' Voice, File, Mark Moran) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

A judge has reversed a wrongful-death judgment against a longtime suspect in a notorious 1979 New York City missing-child case.

The judgment against Jose Ramos was reversed last week. Although never criminally charged, he had been held civilly liable for Etan Patz's (AY'-tahn PAYTS) death.

The 6-year-old vanished en route to a bus stop. He became one of the first missing children pictured on milk cartons.

Etan's body was never found. He was declared dead in 2001.

Pedro Hernandez was charged in 2012 with Etan's murder. He initially confessed but later denied culpability.

The Maple Shade, New Jersey, man is set for retrial this fall. A jury deadlocked last year. His lawyer declined comment.

Ramos is imprisoned in an unrelated case in Pennsylvania. His attorney welcomes the vacated judgment.