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New York - No Obvious Remains Found In Missing NYC Boy Dig

Published on: April 23, 2012 11:41 AM
By: AP
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New York City policemen stand at a barricade on Monday, April 23, 2012 in the SoHo neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York. (AP PhotoPeter Morgan)New York - Authorities on Monday finished excavating a Manhattan basement in connection to the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy three decades ago without finding any obvious human remains, law enforcement officials said Monday.

FBI and police had been searching the former workspace of a handyman since Thursday, after a cadaver-sniffing dog detected the scent of possible human remains. The space is down the street from where Etan Patz lived and along the route he would have walked to reach his bus stop when he vanished on May 25, 1979.

“No obvious human remains were found, but it’s still a missing person case,” said Paul Browne, spokesman for the New York Police Department.

Large brown steel containers full of rubble and sand from the basement were hauled away Monday morning to a landfill on Staten Island, where they will be preserved in case officials need to go back and take another look.

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“The FBI has concluded the on-site portion of the search,” FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald said. “The street and local businesses will be re-opened.”

Though the search was over, investigators were still examining some of the material they gathered.

Investigators, for example, found a stain on a piece of wall that was tested on site and did not contain traces of blood, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the search was ongoing. FBI officials sent the piece to a lab for further testing at a lab in Quantico, Va.

Some hairs also were collected, though it’s not clear if they were human, and they also will be tested, one of the officials said. Bones found early Monday that were quickly identified as food, one official said.

An official with the city medical examiner’s office had been on site the entire time, and would have taken any shred of potential human remains, including clothing or bones, but the official left without taking anything, one of the officials said.

Etan’s disappearance touched off a massive search that continues still. His parents, Stan and Julie Patz, were briefed by authorities about the work there on Saturday, an official said.

Reticent to move or even change their phone number in case their son tried to reach out, the two still live in the same apartment, down the street from the building being examined.

The boy was declared legally dead in 2001, so Stan Patz could sue a man he believed to have caused his son’s death. The man, Jose Ramos, was declared responsible by a civil judge in 2004. He is serving time in Pennsylvania for molesting two children in separate incidents and has denied harming Etan.

The basement was used at the time as a workspace for a handyman named Othniel Miller. He was interviewed after the boy went missing.

The 75-year-old Miller hasn’t been named a suspect, and his lawyer, Michael C. Farkas, says he “has absolutely no responsibility for the terrible tragedy that befell young Etan Patz” and “decries these efforts to sully his good reputation and destroy his family.”



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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM shimonyehuda Says:

this is the manhattan trying to save his job he has proven to be unable to prosecute highly publicised cases. so he resorts to publicity stunts like this to show the public his value

2

 Apr 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM zooog Says:

Is he jewish that the "VIN" is following it so closely?

3

 Apr 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM Phil E Stein Says:

Reply to #1  
shimonyehuda Says:

this is the manhattan trying to save his job he has proven to be unable to prosecute highly publicised cases. so he resorts to publicity stunts like this to show the public his value

Oy, shimonyehuda, in trying show how clever you are you have omitted the key word in your message.

"This the Manhattan" - what?

The Manhattan Transfer? The Manhattan Project? The Manhattan cocktail? A movie produced by Woody Allen?

4

 Apr 23, 2012 at 02:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
zooog Says:

Is he jewish that the "VIN" is following it so closely?

How insensitive can you be.

You mean you mean someone to spell out for you that a little boy named "Eitan" is Jewish.

And if he isn't Jewish, we shouldn't care?

What is the matter with you?

VIN is reporting the news and keeping us informed.

Go ask mechilla from the boy's parents.

5

 Apr 23, 2012 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
zooog Says:

Is he jewish that the "VIN" is following it so closely?

Your name is quite appropriate. You do belong in a zoo.

6

 Apr 23, 2012 at 02:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
zooog Says:

Is he jewish that the "VIN" is following it so closely?

only jewish news can be on VIN? and yes, he is jewish

7

 Apr 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM sandymoos Says:

why did they bother to publicize this? They got everone's hope up for nothing, nada, zip!

8

 Apr 23, 2012 at 03:45 PM Yaakov Says:

Does anybody know Etan's full hebrew name?

9

 Apr 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM 10010 Says:

Reply to #8  
Yaakov Says:

Does anybody know Etan's full hebrew name?

"Does anybody know Etan's full hebrew name?"

Apparently not. Why did you want to know?

10

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