Search for boy’s remains comes up empty


NEW YORK – The search for remains of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy whose disappearance from a Manhattan street 33 years ago put the plight of missing and abducted children under a national spotlight, ended Monday with his fate still unresolved.

“There was no obvious sign of human remains found at this location,” the New York Police Department spokesman, Paul Browne, said as FBI agents and police dismantled the metal barricades blocking people from a stretch of Prince Street in SoHo, where Etan was last seen on May 25, 1979, as he walked to his school bus stop.

Some rubble from a basement dug up by investigators, including the concrete floor and a dark stain that initially tested negative for human blood, will be tested further. Browne said the investigation remains open.

But the failure of the dig to yield any solid evidence seemed to leave investigators and Etan’s parents, Stan and Julie Patz, no closer to learning who was responsible for the boy’s disappearance despite new attention on a handyman who had a workshop in the basement that was just excavated.

FBI agents have spoken to the man, Othniel Miller, who is now 75 and lives in Brooklyn. He was never called a suspect, and his attorney, Michael Farkas, on Monday said his client’s name had been “dragged through the mud” in recent days by the media frenzy surrounding the latest search.


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