Etan Patz was a little blond 6 year old boy on his way to his school, only 2 blocks away from his SoHo home in NYC, when he vanished on May 25th, 1979. I lived in NYC then. The nightly news and daily papers dedicatedly followed the story. Leaflets and posters were everywhere you walked, in every neighborhood in every borough. Telephone poles and booths, bus stops, store windows, trees, all wore Etan Patz's smiling face. He was the first child ever put on milk cartons. He was never found.
33 years later the way missing children cases are handled has changed a lot. We have Amber Alerts now, a system where information about a missing child is quickly broadcasted to the public. Around here, a banner appears at the top of your tv screen, like the Emergency Broadcast System. It's thankfully a very rare sight. Most cases end with the child safely recovered. Etan Patz is still not recovered.
Recently, law enforcement revisited the case and perhaps closure is near.
Etan would be 39 years old now, had he lived to grow up. This Friday marks the anniversary of the Friday he went missing. I hope his family gets the resolution they've waited decades for.
Ed. Update: There has been a confession made.
Though this doesn't find Etan's remains, perhaps finally knowing what happened will bring some kind of closure. My heart goes out to the Patz family.