"I am truly relieved, and I'll tell you, it's about time. It's about time."
Etan Patz vanished on his way to the bus stop on the morning of May 25 and was never seen again. His body was never found.
Hernandez, 56, was arrested in 2012 after confessing to the crime decades later, but a jury deadlocked in his 2015 trial.
His attorney maintained that while the former store clerk did confess to killing the boy and had worked in the neighborhood in the late 1970’s, Hernandez had falsely confessed to the crime due to a mental health issue.
BREAKING: A man has been convicted in one of the nation’s most haunting missing-child cases, nearly 38 years after 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared in New York City.Posted by WGN TV on Tuesday, February 14, 2017
A member of the jury in the second trial, which convicted him of murder and kidnapping, said the panel concluded that Hernandez did have a psychiatric disorder, but had not imagined killing the child, the Associated Press reported.
The Patz case drew national attention to crimes against children and ended an age of innocence when parents still let their children play outside alone and roam about. The boy was also one of the first missing children featured on milk cartons.
Hernandez is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 28.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Etan became one of the first missing children ever pictured on milk cartons, and the anniversary of his disappearance has been designated National Missing Children's Day.Posted by AP on Tuesday, February 14, 2017