Etan Patz’s Mom Tells Jury Son Was Trusting

NEW YORK (AP) -

The mother of 6-year-old Etan Patz testified Monday that he was trusting and eager for independence when he vanished 35 years ago, but also scared of being lost or alone.

“That was the last time I saw him. I watched him walk one block away,” 72-year-old Julie Patz testified at the murder trial of store clerk Pedro Hernandez, who’s accused of killing Etan. “I turned around and went back upstairs, and that was the last time.”

The boy was “totally outgoing and trusting of everyone — totally nonjudgmental about people,” his mother said. “Everyone that he met once was his friend and was a nice person.”

But while Etan craved independence and was eager to become a grown-up, Patz said, “at the same time he was very fearful of being lost or left alone by himself.”

Julie Patz cried when talking about how she felt in the hours after she learned Etan — one of her three children — was missing.

“I don’t remember a thing about that night and the next day, quite honestly,” she said. She recalls only having “very rubbery legs,” an upset stomach and difficulty walking, thinking and talking.