Six-year-old Etan Patz vanished on May 25, 1979.

One of the most extensive missing-child searches was mounted, but two decades later, the boy was officially declared dead. No one has ever been arrested.

Now, the Manhattan district attorney's office will take a fresh look at the evidence collected against the prime suspect, a convicted child molester serving 20 years in prison in Pennsylvania.

By looking into the cold case, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. will be making good on a campaign promise. A spokeswoman for Vance said Wednesday she could not comment further on an open investigation.

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Etan vanished while walking from his lower Manhattan home to a bus stop two blocks away for the ride to school. His disappearance spawned the national movement to publicize the cases of missing children. His photo was the first put on a milk carton, and his case turned May 25 into National Missing Children's Day.

In 2004, a Manhattan judge ruled Jose Ramos was responsible for the boy's disappearance and presumed death, after the Pennsylvania inmate ignored orders to answer deposition questions for a lawyer for the boy's parents. - AP