While no human remains were found at the scene, one source who is reportedly close to the case told Fox News that authorities are testing a suspicious stain found on one of the basement's walls. The stain was found over the weekend and investigators reportedly sprayed Luminol on the wall, detecting an organic substance, which is possibly blood. The stain was found on a cinder block.
The 6-year old Patz went missing on May 25, 1979 while walking to the school bus stop for the first time from his SoHo home. The basement at 127B Prince St. is on the two-block route Patz walked. It belonged to local handyman Othneil Miller, now 75.
The case had immense resonance in the United States, and Patz became the first missing child to be featured on milk cartons.
Fox News reported that it was an unrelated molestation claim that prompted police to take another look at Miller, as a person of interest in the case. His basement was searched 33 years ago when Patz disappeared; the concrete floor in the workshop had been freshly poured. But investigators never dug up the floor at that time.
Miller is also now facing new, unrelated accusations.
According to the Daily Mail, Miller's ex-wife has reportedly told police that she divorced him after finding out that he attacked his niece in her New Jersey home. The British paper stated that police used this claim of child abuse to dig up the basement.
The New York Daily News reported that the ex-wife, Phyllis, told police that Miller had raped the niece.
Still, Miller's family believes he had nothing to do with Patz's disappearance. Miller's 54-year-old stepson, Jason Webley, told the Daily News that Phyllis made up the allegation because she's a liar.
She's sick in her head, she's crazy, he said. I guess she's still bitter and angry about their past relationship.
Webley also insisted that Miller wouldn't have hurt Patz.
You can't swear for anyone, but I don't think he's in any way, form, or fashion involved in this, Webley, said. He's not like that. He loved children. I grew up around the man and I never heard anything like that.