Father of Slain 6-Year-Old Boy Criticizes D.A.
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It has been more than a quarter-century since Etan Patz left his SoHo loft for the school bus stop only two blocks away, never to return.
The 6-year-old’s body has never been found, although an imprisoned pedophile has long been linked to the disappearance.
Yesterday, the boy’s father, Stanley Patz, a commercial photographer, said local law-enforcement officials failed to thoroughly investigate the claims against that suspect, Jose Ramos, despite information obtained by investigators that linked the repeat sex offender to the Patz child’s death.
Prosecutors have maintained that there is not enough evidence to bring a criminal case against Ramos. A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, Barbara Thompson, said the investigation into the Patz boy’s disappearance – which happened five years into Mr. Morgenthau’s three-decade-long tenure – is continuing. In one of many letters he addressed to the district attorney over the years, in June 2001 Mr. Patz requested a meeting with Mr. Morgenthau to discuss – among other things – sentiments he said were expressed to him by prosecutors that “a political decision has been made and that there will never be an indictment.”
Mr. Patz said he had become so frustrated with prosecutors that he decided to endorse Mr. Morgenthau’s opponent for the Democratic nomination for district attorney, Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former State Supreme Court justice.
She said yesterday that she had conducted her own inquiry and vowed that if she is elected she will immediately convene a grand jury in the case.
Ms. Snyder, a former prosecutor, said Ramos is eligible for parole in 2012 on his conviction in the molestation of an 8-year-old boy. After a civil trial in May 2004, a state Supreme Court justice, Barbara Kapnick, ruled that Ramos, 60, was solely responsible for Etan Patz’s death. He was found liable for $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the Patz family.
The judge’s ruling was based in part on a statement Ramos made to police in 1988, allegedly admitting to having abducted a child near Washington Square Park on the day of Etan Patz’s disappearance, and later sexually abusing the boy inside his Lower East Side tenement apartment. Ramos could not be reached for comment yesterday.