By Shayna Jacobs
MUNICIPAL DISTRICT — The Manhattan District Attorney reopened an investigation into the 1979 abduction of a 6-year-old SoHo boy who was the first missing child to appear on a milk carton, the prosecutor's office confirmed Wednesday.
The child, Etan Patz, reportedly went missing for good when he left for his first unaccompanied walk to school, 31 years ago this week.
In 2001 the child was declared dead, although his body was never found. The lengthy investigation had been abandoned until now.
Convicted sex offender Jose Ramos — who is scheduled for release from prison in 2012 — is considered the primary suspect, according to reports.
Ramos was dating Patz's babysitter around the time of the abduction, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Etan's parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, won a civil lawsuit in 2004 that found Ramos liable for their son's death, but no criminal charges have been filed against the jailed suspect.
A spokesperson for the DA would not comment on possible suspects.
Newly-anointed district attorney Cy Vance Jr. had promised to reopen the case on the campaign trail.
"I said I would look into it, and I am looking into it," Vance told the Wall Street Journal.
Manhattan's previous DA, Robert Morgenthau, reportedly had said there was not sufficient evidence to proceed in the case.
Patz's strange disappearance inspired the 1983 film "Without a Trace."