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Longtime suspect in Etan Patz case to be released

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 2:02 am •  Published: November 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man long considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of a New York City boy more than three decades ago is scheduled to be released from a Pennsylvania prison where he spent more than 20 years for molesting children.

Six-year-old Etan Patz 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.

Jose Ramos, a 69-year-old convicted pedophile authorities have called the prime suspect in the case, is set to be released Wednesday from the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, in northeastern Pennsylvania, prison spokesman Michael Goyne said.

"He will be released probably sometime in the morning," Goyne said. "That's all the information there is."

Investigators in Etan's case have long been focused on Ramos, who had been dating the boy's baby sitter and later served the time in Pennsylvania for molesting two other boys.

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.

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