New York

The Latest: Opening statements begin at missing-child trial

  • Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, and James Vinocur arrive for the retrial of Pedro Hernandez, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, and James Vinocur arrive for the retrial of Pedro Hernandez, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

  • Assistant District Attorney Joel Seidemann arrives for court in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday as a retrial of Pedro Hernandez begins in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Assistant District Attorney Joel Seidemann arrives for court in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday as a retrial of Pedro Hernandez begins in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

  • A group of former jurors in the first trial of Pedro Hernandez arrive at court in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    A group of former jurors in the first trial of Pedro Hernandez arrive at court in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Opening statements are set for Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the retrial in one of the nation's most influential missing-child cases (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Prosecutors are introducing jurors to one of the nation's most influential missing-child cases as a suspect goes on trial for a second time.

Opening statements began Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz (AY'-tahn payts).

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi (ihl-OO'-zee) says it was "a defining moment" of lost innocence.

She says: "It is Etan who will forever symbolize the loss of that innocence."

Prosecutors say former convenience store clerk Pedro Hernandez hid a brutal secret for more than 30 years before admitting he killed Etan. Etan was 6 when he vanished while walking to his school bus stop.

Hernandez's lawyers say the Maple Shade, New Jersey, man is mentally ill and falsely confessed.

Etan was among the first missing children featured on milk cartons.

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1:15 a.m.

One of the nation's most influential missing-child cases is about to be laid out for a jury — again.

Opening statements are set for Wednesday in a retrial surrounding the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz (AY'-tahn PAYTS').

Prosecutors say former convenience store clerk Pedro Hernandez hid a brutal secret for more than 30 years before admitting to murder. His lawyers say the Maple Shade, New Jersey, man is mentally ill and falsely confessed.

Etan's 6-year-old face became one of the first missing children's portraits that Americans saw on milk cartons. The anniversary of his disappearance became National Missing Children's Day. His parents helped push for a law that modernized how law enforcement handles missing-child cases.

The 55-year-old Hernandez wasn't a suspect until police got a tip in 2012.