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Author Topic: Etan Patz - 1st Missing Child on a Milk Carton Case Re-Opened 31 Years Later  (Read 23170 times)
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canadianmonkey
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« on: May 14, 2009, 04:33:51 PM »

    
NEW YORK (CNN) -- His was the first photo of a missing child to appear on a milk carton. Almost 30 years later, Etan Patz is still missing.

 
Etan Patz, 6, disappeared while walking to a school bus stop. It was the first time he'd gone alone.

 1 of 2  Etan was 6 when he disappeared on May 25, 1979, the Friday before Memorial Day. He was on his way to school in what is now the upscale Soho neighborhood of New York.

It was the first time he'd walked to the bus stop by himself. It was just a few blocks away. Etan, like any 6-year-old, argued that all of his friends walked to the bus stop alone, and his parents relented.

His mother, Julie Patz, learned that Etan hadn't been in classes when he failed to return home. She called the school at 3:30 p.m., then called the homes of all his friends. When no one had seen Etan, she called police and filed a missing person's report.

By evening more than 100 police officers and searchers had gathered with bloodhounds. The search continued for weeks, but no clues to Etan's whereabouts were found.  Watch an update on the case »

The boy's disappearance was one of the key events that inspired the missing children's movement, which raised awareness of child abductions and led to new ways to search for missing children. Etan's case was the first of the milk carton campaigns of the mid-1980s.


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"In our minds there were only two possibilities," said Stan Patz, the boy's father. "Either Etan was taken by a stranger and killed or he was taken by a very sad woman desperate for a child of her own, and we hoped that such a woman would at least take care of him and keep him safe."

Patz lived with this hope until 1982, when he learned of Jose Antonio Ramos' arrest and the surprising connection between him and a former babysitter of Etan's.

Ramos was a drifter who in 1979 lived in Alphabet City, a neighborhood not far from Soho. In 1982 he was arrested after boys in a neighborhood in the Bronx complained that he had stolen their book bags while trying to coax them into a drainpipe under a bridge, where he lived, said the Patzes and federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois, who spent years investigating the case.

When police found Ramos in his drainpipe home, they found he had many photographs of small blond boys. They noticed that they looked a lot like Etan Patz, according to author Lisa R Cohen's book about the case, "After Etan: The Missing Child Case that Held America Captive."

Bronx police questioned Ramos, and he denied having anything to do with Etan's disappearance. But he did tell police that his girlfriend used to baby-sit for the boy, GraBois said.

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Prosecutors in the Bronx and Manhattan pursued this lead, but concluded they did not have enough evidence to connect Ramos to Etan's disappearance, GraBois and a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.

Ramos was released when the parents of the Bronx boys chose not to press charges against him, according to published reports. He left town and disappeared for six years -- until GraBois reviewed Etan's case. GraBois said he focused on Ramos as the prime suspect.

GraBois said he learned in 1988 that Ramos had been arrested and convicted of child molestation and was serving time in a Pennsylvania prison.

GraBois said he brought Ramos to New York for questioning and surprised him with the question: "How many times did you have sex with Etan Patz?"

Ramos told GraBois that he'd taken a little boy to an apartment he had on the lower East Side on the same day that Etan went missing. "He was 90 percent sure it was the same he'd seen in the news that was missing," GraBois said.

According to GraBois, Ramos claimed he released the boy and brought him to a subway station so the boy could go visit his aunt in Washington Heights.

"Etan did not have an aunt in Washington Heights," GraBois said. When questioned further, Ramos refused to say anything more and asked for a lawyer, according to GraBois.

Ramos is serving a 10- to 20-year prison sentence in Pennsylvania. He is scheduled to be released in November 2012, GraBois said.

GraBois said he had Ramos transferred to a federal prison, and planted informants as his cell mates. He wouldn't go into detail about what Ramos might have told them, but said he's convinced he's eyeing the right suspect.

GraBois turned over his evidence to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, but prosecutors have not brought charges. They say that without a body, they don't have enough evidence.


Etan's case is still considered by the NYPD to be a cold case.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Etan Patz or that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for his disappearance is asked to call the FBI/NYPD Etan Patz hotline: 212-384-2200.
 
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/13/grace.coldcase.patz/
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 04:00:37 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 04:23:41 PM »



Parents on balcony in NY
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 02:02:23 PM »

On Missing Children’s Day, Vance Says Etan Patz Case Re-Opened
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 5:02 am
On National Missing Children’s Day yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told the Wall Street Journal he had reopened the investigation into the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who disappeared 31 years ago yes terday and never returned.

Vance, who took office New Year’s Day when Robert Morgenthau retired after 35 years, has directed his prosecutors to take a fresh look at a case that has haunted New York for decades. Morgenthau argued there was insufficient evidence to proceed in the case.  The prime suspect in the case is Jose Ramos, who was the boyfriend of a woman who had earlier been hired to walk Etan to school during a bus strike. Ramos is in prison for molesting two boys. Etan was declared legally dead in 2001. In 2004, a judge found Ramos responsible for Etan’s death in a civil case.
http://thecrimereport.org/2010/05/26/on-missing-childrens-day-vance-says-etan-patz-case-re-opened/
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 09:42:01 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/26/new.york.1979.missing.child/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

District attorney reopens case of first missing child on milk carton
By Gabriel Falcon, CNN
May 26, 2010 8:12 p.m. EDT

New York (CNN) -- His was the first face of a missing child to appear on the back of a milk carton. Now, nearly 31 years to the day since Etan Patz vanished from a New York street, authorities are reopening his case.

The communications director for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. confirmed that the office is taking another look at the decades-old mystery.

"It's a case that the district attorney has been aware of since before running for office last year," said Erin Duggan. "Last summer he said he would take a fresh look at the case if he became district attorney. Tuesday he confirmed that the case had been reopened."

Duggan added, "This was the disappearance of a child that gripped the residents of Manhattan and continues to leave many questions unanswered."

Etan was 6 when he disappeared on the morning of May 25, 1979. "It was the first day that he was to walk two blocks from his apartment to the school bus stop," said Lisa R. Cohen, author of "After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive."

"He had been wanting to do it by himself, and they gave him permission, literally two short blocks," Cohen said. "And his mother could see the bus stop at the end of the street and she saw parents there, waiting with kids for the bus, and so she let him go."

Etan was never seen alive again.

Jose Antonio Ramos, a convicted child molester, has been identified as a suspect in the disappearance, but has never been charged in connection with the case.

According to Cohen, Ramos initially told investigators that he was "90 percent sure" that a boy he had taken home on that day in 1979 was Etan.

Ramos has since denied making that statement, she said.

Cohen said Etan's father, Stan Patz, contacted her after the news was announced that the prosecutor was reopening the case. "He said, 'Maybe we'll finally get our day court,'" she said.

From families and detectives to people in the missing children movement, this case changed everything, Cohen said.

"Before Etan, parents did not have an image in their mind that something could happen to their children," she said. "And after Etan, they did."

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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 09:23:04 AM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/7024133.html
31-year-old case of missing NYC boy under review
May 26, 2010

NEW YORK — Six-year-old Etan Patz vanished on May 25, 1979. One of the most extensive missing-child searches was mounted to find him, but two decades later, the boy was officially declared dead. No one has ever been arrested.

Now, the Manhattan district attorney's office will take a fresh look at the evidence collected against the prime suspect, a convicted child molester serving 20 years in prison in Pennsylvania.

By looking into the cold case, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. will be making good on a campaign promise. A spokeswoman for Vance said Wednesday she could not comment further on an open investigation.

Etan Patz (pronounced AY'-tahn payts) vanished while walking from his lower Manhattan home to a bus stop two blocks away. His disappearance spawned the national movement to publicize the cases of missing children. His photo was the first put on a milk carton, and his case turned May 25 into National Missing Children's Day.

The longtime former district attorney, Robert Morgenthau, said repeatedly he didn't have enough evidence to charge anyone. But Etan's father, Stan Patz, said that while there is little forensic evidence, he believes there is enough to convene a grand jury and get an indictment.

“All we have been asking for is the district attorney to take a good look at the information,” Patz said. “I realize this is not like ‘CSI.' That's why it's been a tough case all along. But there is enough evidence that a competent attorney can use to prosecute.”

Jose Ramos, who had dated Etan's baby sitter, has been the prime suspect all along, according to the boy's family. Ramos allegedly admitted to Pennsylvania authorities that he tried to molest Etan on the day of the child's disappearance but has denied harming him. It was unclear Wednesday if Ramos has an attorney, and Ramos was unreachable at the prison.

After Etan's disappearance, his parents kept the same number and stayed in the same SoHo apartment, in case he returned. But in 2001, after waiting 22 years, they obtained a court order declaring the boy dead.

In 2004, a Manhattan judge ruled Ramos was responsible for the boy's disappearance and presumed death, after the inmate ignored orders to answer deposition questions for a lawyer for the boy's parents. He was later ordered to pay $2 million to Etan's family.

Ramos is to be released in 2012 after a 20-year sentence for sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy, bringing a certain urgency to the case, which was never officially closed, the boy's father said. At least one FBI agent and a New York Police Department liaison is assigned to the case.

Patz is hopeful a fresh pair of eyes will yield some results.

“He (Vance) says he's willing to do that, and the fact he's willing to say it in public is very encouraging,” Patz said.
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 10:13:09 AM »

Muffy and Klaas.....we have a thread on Etan Patz.... I'll merge.
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 01:15:16 PM »

Patz was six years old when he disappeared May 25, 1979 on his way to the school bus stop, touching off one of the most high-profile missing child cases in New York history. He was the first child ever to be shown on the side of a milk carton, and President Ronald Reagan declared May 25 National Missing Child Day in his honor.
 
Officials are searching the basement of a building on Prince Street in SoHo, based on a re-examination of evidence, police said. Authorities plan to dig up the basement, which is connected to a handyman who had contact with Patz just before he disappeared, according to a law enforcement official.
 
The 15-by-30 basement is at 127B Prince Street, about 200 feet from the building where Patz lived.  ::snipping2:: 

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/19/11286057-fbi-nypd-resume-search-for-etan-patz-who-went-missing-in-1979?lite
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 02:02:50 PM »

I hope they find his remains in the building.  Joel Ramos the suspect in this case is up for release from jail this November.  He should never see the light of day.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 06:13:29 PM »

Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET] Investigators began jackhammering into the basement of a commercial building in Lower Manhattan on Thursday as part of a search for a 6-year-old boy who disappeared in May 1979 on his way to a bus stop in New York City.
 
"We're looking for human remains, clothing or other personal effects," New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. "It's a very painstaking process."
 
Etan Patz's disappearance, considered a high-profile cold case, prompted authorities to splash the child's image on the sides of milk cartons in hopes of gathering more information. It is thought to be the first time that step was taken for a missing child.
 
"The FBI's Evidence Recovery Team is on the scene," FBI special agent Peter Donald said.
 
The excavation includes boring into the basement floors and walls of a SoHo building on Prince Street in Manhattan, near where the schoolboy is believed to have walked on his way to a bus stop more than three decades ago.  ::snipping2:: 

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/19/feds-in-new-search-for-n-y-boy-missing-since-1979/?hpt=hp_t2
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 08:56:08 PM »

MODS, if possible could you merge threads regarding Etan. I found one, but I think we have another somewhere. Nutt may know where the other is located. One I found is here:

http://scaredmonkeys.net/index.php?topic=5105.0 Thanks Smile
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 09:16:28 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/19/fbi-da-searching-manhattan-building-in-boy-17-disappearance/?test=latestnews
Quote
He wouldn't say what evidence led investigators to the property, but a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that at the time of the boy's disappearance, the building housed the workspace of a carpenter who was thought to have been friendly with the boy.

Then, within the past few weeks, an FBI dog indicated the possible presence of human remains in the space, prompting the decision to dig.

Some sources told ABC News that prosecutors are now skeptical whether convicted child sex abuser Jose Antonio Ramos -- long considered Patz abductor and killer -- did in fact commit the crime.


 

 
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 12:12:17 AM »

Etan Patz Search Leads to Handyman's Basement 33 Years Later

(NEW YORK) -- A fresh investigation into the disappearance 33 years ago of a little boy named Etan Patz led to the Manhattan basement workshop of a handyman named Othneil Miller on Thursday.

Investigators believe that Patz, who was 6 years old when he vanished in 1979, was in Miller's basement the night before he disappeared, when Miller befriended the boy and gave him a dollar, sources told ABC News.

Federal agents and New York City police began to tear up the concrete floor of the basement at 127 Prince St. in the SoHo section of Manhattan. The basement was Miller's workshop in 1979.

 ::snipping2::

Thursday's probe, which was reopened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in 2010, began with an interview of Miller.

Based on that interview, law enforcement sources said, a dog was brought to the scene as a warrant was drawn up. The cadaver dog got a positive hit for possible human remains. The warrant was served and the preparations for the excavation, expected to last five days, began.

 ::snipping2::

According to sources, the area of the basement where the dog picked up the scent appears to be one that had been resurfaced with fresh concrete at or shortly after the time of Patz's disappearance.

Sources told ABC News that even if a body had been kept for 24 hours or less and then moved, a trained dog could pick up the scent decades later.

The basement was searched in 1979, the year the boy disappeared, but the floor was never dug up.

 ::snipping2::

http://www.670kboi.com/rssItem.asp?feedid=118&itemid=29834699
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 12:14:01 AM »

Etan Patz's Disappearance Still Haunts Many SoHo Residents

More than a generation later, the disappearance of Etan Patz is still very fresh in the minds and hearts of SoHo residents, as many them were living in the neighborhood when the boy disappeared. Borough reporter Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.

On a sunny Thursday morning, SoHo residents were flung back to a dark time in their neighborhood's history -- the day in 1979 when six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared.

They watched NYPD and FBI crews working in the basement of 127 Prince Street, looking for Patz' remains.

"People used to say where is Etan and that was the biggest question and still, to this day, people are asking that question," said neighbor James Christie.

There was no visible movement in the Patz apartment, just a half-block east of the dig site. Neighbors remembered Etan's parents' desperation and incredible resolve.

 ::snipping2::

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/159743/etan-patz-s-disappearance-still-haunts-many-soho-residents
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 12:19:14 AM »

In Basement, Hopes to Solve ’79 Case of Missing Boy

Investigators swarmed into the basement of a building in SoHo on Thursday with jackhammers, pickaxes and orders to carry out the most extensive search to date for the remains of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy whose disappearance more than 30 years ago focused national attention on the problem of missing children.

Officials said they would dig for five days, a much more extensive effort than was made 12 years ago, when detectives searched the basement of an apartment where the primary suspect, Jose A. Ramos, a former mental patient who was serving time for molesting a boy in Pennsylvania, lived when Etan disappeared.

The new search focused on a basement area that had been used as a workshop by a carpenter and handyman from Etan’s building. Investigators are working on the theory that the handyman, Othniel Miller, killed the boy and buried him there, one law enforcement official said.

In recent days, according to the law enforcement official, Mr. Miller was interviewed by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and when the possibility was raised that the boy had been buried in the basement, he blurted out, “What if the body was moved?” the official said.

 ::snipping2::

Etan, a first grader who was wearing sneakers and an Eastern Airlines pilot’s cap, had pleaded with his parents that he was old enough to make the trip alone. He disappeared on the first day he was allowed to do so.

The basement being searched — at 127B Prince Street, at the corner of Wooster Street — had also been used by the SoHo Playgroup, a parent-led space for preschool children. A woman who had participated in the group as a child said she believed Etan was a member of the playgroup.

The basement is along the route Etan was to have followed that morning in May 1979. Somewhere between his parents’ loft at 113 Prince Street and the bus stop, on West Broadway, he disappeared.

 ::snipping2::

F.B.I. agents were seen escorting Mr. Miller to his apartment in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon; a law enforcement official said investigators had tried to elicit information from him.

A cousin of Mr. Miller’s, Merdine Splatt, said any suggestion that Mr. Miller was a suspect in Etan’s death was “ridiculous.”

“How did they get him involved in this here? ” she said. “Well, if he was working in the building, quite naturally they will want to know what he knows.”

Efforts to reach Mr. Miller were unsuccessful.

The night before he disappeared, Mr. Miller had given Etan “his dollar wage” for doing chores, wrote Lisa R. Cohen, in “After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive.”

More than a decade ago, Mr. Miller invited the police to come in and examine the basement, suggesting that they could tear up the floor if they wanted, but that they would have to pay to replace it, a person involved in the inquiry at the time said. Because Mr. Miller was not a suspect, they did not take him up on his offer, the person said.

 ::snipping2::

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/nyregion/in-etan-patz-case-police-begin-new-search-for-remains.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 12:21:33 AM »

Police search basement for remains of Etan Patz
The boy vanished in 1979 after leaving his family's Manhattan apartment to catch a school bus.

 ::snipping2::

Etan's parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, became outspoken advocates for missing children. For years, they refused to change their phone number, in the hope that Etan was alive somewhere, and might call. They never moved.

Stanley Patz didn't respond to phone calls and email messages Thursday.

No one has ever been prosecuted for the crime, but in recent years Stanley Patz sued an incarcerated drifter and admitted child-molester, Jose Ramos, who had been dating Etan's baby sitter around the time he disappeared.

Ramos denied killing the child, but in 2004 a Manhattan judge ruled him to be responsible for the death, largely due to his refusal to contest the case.

Ramos is scheduled to be released from prison in Pennsylvania in November, when he finishes serving most of a 20-year-sentence for abusing an 8-year-old boy. His pending freedom is one of the factors that has given new urgency to the case.

He is not the carpenter whose old workspace was being searched.

Investigators have looked at a long list of possible suspects over the years, and have excavated in other places before without success.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/police-search-basement-for-remains-of-etan-patz_2012-04-20.html
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 08:57:24 AM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57417579/cautious-optimism-in-search-for-etan-patzs-remains/
Cautious optimism in search for Etan Patz's remains
By John Miller
April 20, 2012

"CBS This Morning" senior correspondent John Miller, a former FBI Assistant Director, was a local reporter in New York City and covered the story when Etan Patz disappeared

Etan Patz has the tragic distinction of being the first missing child ever shown on a milk carton.

His disappearance in New York City captivated the nation in 1979, and the mystery has never been solved.

But now, the New York Police Department and FBI were to begin digging up the concrete floor in the basement in a Manhattan building just down the street from the last place Patz was seen -- the school bus stop.

"We are putting greater emphasis on this location, looking forensically for any evidence of human remains of clothing," says NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne
.

Authorities are cautiously optimistic the search will succeed.

Sources tell CBS News cadaver dogs had indicated the presence of human remains during a search there several days ago.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 09:37:41 AM »

It has been so long.  I hope Etan's mommy and daddy finally get some answers.  The person responsible has far fewer days ahead of them than behind them.  Dear God, let them want to meet you with a clear conscience.  Give them nightmares until they confess and lead investigators to Etan.
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 10:16:57 AM »

It has been so long.  I hope Etan's mommy and daddy finally get some answers.  The person responsible has far fewer days ahead of them than behind them.  Dear God, let them want to meet you with a clear conscience.  Give them nightmares until they confess and lead investigators to Etan.

Amen an angelic monkey

Another, rather lengthy article, on the disappearance and current search

Quote
'There was a stench of death': Police search apartment of handyman who befriended  Etan Patz and worked with chief suspect in the case that shocked America 33 years ago
::snipping2::

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2132164/FBI-search-Manhattan-apartment-Etan-Patz--33-years-went-missing.html?ICO=most_read_module
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 05:00:24 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/handyman-etan-patz-probe-innocent/story?id=16180332
Handyman in Etan Patz Probe Says He's Innocent
April 20, 2012

lawyer for the handyman Othniel Miller whose basement workshop is the focal point of a new investigation into the Etan Patz case today denied he had anything to do with the little boy's disappearance more than three decades ago.

"Mr. Miller did not do this," Michael Farkas, the attorney for Miller, told reporters outside the Brooklyn building where Miller lives.

"Mr. Miller denies involvement with what happened to this beautiful young boy and he's going to remain cooperative to the extent that's reasonably possible given this investigation," Farkas said.
 ::snipping2::
Authorities today began the first full day of digging in the Manhattan basement at 127 Prince St. for new evidence, following the startling discovery that the missing child may never have made it off his own New York City block.

Patz's 1979 disappearance sparked a massive city-wide search 33 years ago, but now the FBI and New York City police believe they may find evidence in what was then a handyman's basement workshop just steps away from where the boy was last seen.

The small basement room at the center of the investigation belonged to Miller, now 75, and was also frequented by the case's longtime prime suspect Jose Ramos.
More...
(2 pg article)
Video at Link
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 05:02:10 PM »

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/etan-patz-search-continues-in-soho-two-suspects.html
Etan Patz Search Continues in Soho
By Joe Coscarelli
April 20, 2012

The FBI and NYPD again crowded 127 Prince Street at the corner of Wooster today in the renewed search for clues in the case of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old who went missing in 1979 and was never found. Cadaver-sniffing dogs reportedly picked up a scent recently in a Soho basement not far from the Patz family home, but an FBI spokesman has called that "one lead of many." Longtime prime suspect Jose Ramos, currently in jail on separate child-molestation charges, reportedly frequented the then-workshop used by neighborhood handyman Othneil Miller, who occasionally paid Etan for chores.

"What's being done right now is they're starting a very controlled and precise digging operation," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly today. "They're actually starting at the back wall." The work is expected to take up to five days, and the torn-up concrete will also undergo forensic testing.
 ::snipping2::
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  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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