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.