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NYC cops excavate basement in search of boy missing since 1979

By David Ferguson
Friday, April 20, 2012 15:45 EDT
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Police excavate basement in NYC
 
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Etan Patz was six years old when he went missing on May 25, 1979. He was walking from the Manhattan apartment where he lived with his parents to his school bus stop when he disappeared and was never seen again. However, according to a CBS News report, New York City police personnel are currently directing an excavation by utility workers of a concrete floor in the basement of a building near where the boy disappeared 33 years ago.

Initial suspicion in the case has centered around neighbor Othniel Miller, now 76, who gave the boy a dollar the day before he disappeared, according to investigators. Miller was a neighborhood handyman who had a workshop in the basement of the building currently being searched. Shortly after Patz’s disappearance, Miller gave the workshop a new concrete floor. Cadaver dogs indicated the presence of human remains in a recent search of the area.

The disappearance of Etan Patz became a iconic case. It changed the way cases of missing children are reported and investigated. The boy’s face was the first missing child’s picture to be distributed on milk cartons. It changed how parents raise their children, giving rise to today’s hyper-involved “helicopter parents,” whose children never spend a single unsupervised moment until approximately graduate school, as well as the corresponding backlash of the “Free Range Children” movement.

FBI spokespersons on the scene said that the removal of the basement floor was just one lead of many that are currently being pursued.

Watch this video report from CBS, which originally aired Friday, April 20, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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