Longtime Etan Patz suspect released, then held
PHILADELPHIA -- A man long considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of a New York City boy more than three decades ago was released from a Pennsylvania prison on Wednesday, then immediately arrested on a Megan's Law violation after providing an outdated address of where he would be residing, state police said.
Jose Antonio Ramos was immediately taken into custody following his release from a northeastern Pennsylvania prison where he spent more than 20 years for molesting children because he failed to provide accurate information as required of sex offenders, according to state police.
Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Richard Krawetz said Ramos gave an address of a relative from more than 30 years ago and, while the address existed, the relative hasn't lived at that location for years, Krawetz said.
"When he walked out of the main gate, he was taken into custody by troopers," he said.
Ramos had long been suspected in the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished May 25, 1979, after leaving his Manhattan home to go to a bus stop two blocks away. It was the first time his parents had let him go off to school alone.
Ramos been dating the boy's baby sitter and later served the time in Pennsylvania for molesting two other boys.
Earlier this year, a new suspect named Pedro Hernandez was charged with Etan's murder after police said he confessed. His lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, has said Hernandez is mentally ill, and authorities have not cited any additional evidence to implicate him beyond his own admission.
Etan's disappearance prompted a massive search that stretched as far as Israel and spawned the national movement to publicize the cases of missing children. The blond, blue-eyed boy's photo was among the first put on milk cartons, and his case turned May 25 into National Missing Children's Day.
His parents never moved or changed their phone number, in case he returned. In 2001, they obtained a court order officially declaring their son dead. They have become outspoken advocates for child protection issues.
Ramos was declared responsible for Etan's death in a civil court in 2004, but the Manhattan district attorney's office has said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him criminally. Ramos has denied any involvement in Etan's disappearance.
Prosecutors are expected this month to announce whether they believe there's evidence enough to continue pursuing a case against Hernandez, who worked at a convenience store near Etan's home when the boy disappeared and told police he strangled the boy and stuffed his body in a trash bag
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Economy police release sketch of woman whose embalmed head was found in wooded area
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Gasoline prices keep falling in Western Pa.
- Pirates win bidding for Korean infielder
- Steelers’ Beachum, Williams hurting but could play vs. Bengals
- WPIAL players named to Class AAA, A all-state teams
- North Korea experiencing severe Internet outages
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- North Side drug den can be demolished, judge says
- Marcellus driller Vantage Energy to pay nearly $1M for Greene County well problems
- Penguins’ Sutter, Downie, Greiss being tested for mumps, out tonight