(NEW YORK) -- Jury selection has begun for a retrial in one of the most notorious murder cases in New York City: the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz.
Suspect Pedro Hernandez, 55, was indicted for murder and kidnapping in November 2012. The New Jersey man told police in an hours-long confession that in 1979 he lured Patz into the convenience store where he worked as a teen, promising him a soda before he choked the boy and threw his body in the trash.
The 2015 trial against Hernandez resulted in a mistrial after 18 days of jury deliberations deadlocked three times.
Hernandez's arrest in May of 2012 proved controversial, as the hunt for forensic evidence to back up his admissions of guilt failed to yield any results, and prosecution had to rely on his admissions -- both in the videotaped confession to police and in the past -- and the fact that he was present in the neighborhood when Patz disappeared.
Patz vanished on May 25, 1979 in Soho as he walked to the bus stop alone for the first time. His disappearance sparked the national effort of putting missing kids on milk cartons, and May 25 is now known as National Missing Children's Day, in Patz's honor.
Hernandez was not a suspect in the initial investigation, which hit a wall soon after Patz's disappearance.
The boy's body was never found.
Hernandez’s defense attorney, Harvey Fishbein, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on an open court case.
Fishbein said in November 2012 that Hernandez suffers from a mental illness and statements to police are not reliable.
In December 2012, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.