Search continues in Etan Patz case

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

April 20, 2012 1:48:55 PM PDT
Why did Etan Patz's parents stay in their SoHo apartment in Lower Manhattan after their son disappeared in 1979 and then, later, was declared dead, even though he was never found?

If the remains of the then-6-year-old are indeed found in the big dig that's going on in SoHo right now, we'll have a better understanding for their rationale. Was their son or his body just a block away from them all this time?

A chilling thought, on top of all the sorrow that, apparently, still haunts them. Understandably still haunts them.

Parents' worst fear is that something bad will happen to their children, and so, although the Patz's pain is theirs alone, we can all relate a little to what they've gone through for these past 33 years.

Meanwhile, they and everyone else hold their breath waiting for the FBI and NYPD to find something, anything, that might lead to some answers in the case that changed the way society deals with missing children.

We'll have the latest from the excavation and forensic analysis in SoHo, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're following the developments in Florida, where George Zimmerman today apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who he shot and killed in February. He didn't know Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman said in court on the day a judge said if he met the $150,000 bail that's been set, Zimmerman could be released.

Also, ABC News has obtained an exclusive picture of Zimmerman's head, from that night, and it clearly shows he has bloody wounds suggesting there was some sort of physical altercation between Martin and Zimmerman.

Zimmerman's Neighborhood Watch zeal was well documented ? and a 911 operator ordered him to stay away from Martin, whom Zimmerman said was a stranger in the 'hood.

But Zimmerman clearly did not stay away. Did Martin feel threatened? Did he confront Zimmerman for following him? We just don't know.

What we do know is that the State Attorney's charge of 2nd degree murder which seemed a reach when it was announced now seems an even bigger reach given the physical altercation. Manslaughter might have been the more logical charge, many experts are saying.

We'll have the new developments, at 11.

And students who borrow money for college get ready for a huge increase in your loan payments. The federal student loan program now has an interest rate of 3.4 percent. But come July 1, it's set to go up double. That's an additional $1,000 in debt per year for an estimated 7.4 million students. So why is this happening? And why is it suddenly an election year football?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his weekend AccuWeather forecast, which includes some much-needed rain, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.


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