New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne on Friday said authorities will be looking keenly at the SoHo location where Etan Patz was seen the day before his disappearance. Investigators are continuing their search for any remains, clothing or any personal effects that can help close the 33-year old case of the missing boy.
We are putting greater emphasis on this location, looking forensically for any evidence of human remains of clothing, Browne told CBS News.
Utility workers have already begun tying off gas lines outside the building in downtown Manhattan where cadaver dogs recently picked up a hit. A hit could mean the presence of human remains.
Patz, 6, disappeared on May 25, 1979 while walking a few short blocks to the school bus stop. It was the first time the boy had walked alone to the bus. He was the first missing child ever shown on a milk carton.
The mystery on the boy's disappearance was never solved and there was never a conviction. There was plenty of speculation, however. Many suspected that one Jose Ramos, who was a friend of Patz's babysitter, kidnapped and murdered the boy. Ramos, a convicted pedophile, is currently serving time in a Pennsylvania prison on child molestation charges in an unrelated incident.
Patz was officially declared dead in 2001.
A judge later found Ramos responsible for Pat'z death in a civil suit and ordered him to pay the family $2 million, but he reportedly never paid the money.
The SoHo basement being searched belonged to Othneil Miller, now 76. He was a neighborhood handyman who paid Patz $1 for helping with chores the night before the kid disappeared.
According to CBS, a new concrete floor was put down after Patz's disappearance. The basement was searched the year Patz disappeared.
The FBI's been here to investigate the case, said Stephanie Miller, Othneil's daughter. He cooperated with them, went to the site, and he doesn't have anything to do with it.
CNN reported that late Thursday, a grid was set up around the basement connected to the 33-year-old case. A part of the back wall was taken out. That report also said that FBI agents picked up the carpenter on Thursday for questioning. He was released and returned to his Brooklyn apartment.