Hernandez was taken into custody one month after the investigation into Patz's disappearance returned to the headlines when police excavated a Manhattan basement in the hopes of finding evidence about the boy's death.
At the time, police named Othniel Miller as a suspect. The dig focused on a basement room where Miller once operated a workshop.
The dig yielded no obvious human remains and little forensic evidence that would help solve the decades-long mystery of what happened to the boy.
The boy's parents, Stan and Julie Patz, were reluctant to move or even change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out. They still live in the same apartment, down the street from the building that was examined in April.
ABC News' John Santucci and Mark Crudele contributed to this report.