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In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, Pedro Hernandez appears in Manhattan criminal court in New York. The re-trial for the man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 is ending. Prosecutors will sum up their case Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 after defense attorneys for Hernandez argued his confession was made up. Hernandez admitted to choking the boy in the basement of a convenience store. His first murder trial ended in a hung jury. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool)

A 56-year-old former convenience store clerk was convicted Tuesday of killing Etan Patz, the 6-year-old New York City boy who disappeared from his Soho neighborhood nearly 38 years ago and became one of the most visible symbols for missing children.

Patz went missing on his way to a school bus stop in May 1979 and was never seen again. His case shaped parenting and law enforcement practices nationwide.

Pedro Hernandez, of Maple Shade, N.J., was a clerk at a store in Etan's neighborhood when the first-grader disappeared. He confessed to choking the boy to death, but his attorney Harvey Fishbein argued during the trial that he is mentally ill and made up the confession.

Hernandez' defense team said evidence in the case points to another suspect with a connection to the family. The other suspect has never been charged.

Hernandez, 56, showed no reaction as jurors delivered their verdict, the Associated Press reported.

His first trial in 2015 ended with a hung jury after 18 days of deliberations. This time, a jury of eight men and six women reviewed more than 300 exhibits over the course of nine days of deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, NBC News reported.

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