New search for first missing child pictured on milk carton
April 19th, 2012
01:17 PM ET

New search for first missing child pictured on milk carton

[Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET] Investigators began jackhammering into the basement of a commercial building in Lower Manhattan on Thursday as part of a search for a 6-year-old boy who disappeared in May 1979 on his way to a bus stop in New York City.

"We're looking for human remains, clothing or other personal effects," New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. "It's a very painstaking process."

Etan Patz's disappearance, considered a high-profile cold case, prompted authorities to splash the child's image on the sides of milk cartons in hopes of gathering more information. It is thought to be the first time that step was taken for a missing child.

"The FBI's Evidence Recovery Team is on the scene," FBI special agent Peter Donald said.

The excavation includes boring into the basement floors and walls of a SoHo building on Prince Street in Manhattan, near where the schoolboy is believed to have walked on his way to a bus stop more than three decades ago.

Dozens of police and federal agents have gathered outside the building and are expected to continue their search for the next five days.

Authorities have reason to think the new search could lead to the discovery of the boy's remains at that location, though remain wary after past leads in the case have not panned out, according to two sources.

February 2011: HLN's "Nancy Grace: America's Missing" looks at Etan Patz case

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Duane

    Why is this article so brief?

    April 19, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      I was thinking the same thi...

      April 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pooflingingmonkey

    Because they want you to watch the video, and the likely ad preceeding it.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. palintwit

    Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But in order to do so, she must get back to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, speaking only to "real Americans", dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again but we must all follow the "Palin Path". In the days , weeks, and months to come, I will elaborate on the "Palin Path" so that everyone has a clear understanding of Sarah Palin's vision for our country.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJD

      The brief article is about a missing child! Not about a woman with a missing brain!!!!!!!! You ARE a twit!

      April 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • She Dumped Us.

      Really??? Well here's a little news flash for ya! Palin is only in it for herself. She WAS the govenor of our great state of Alaska. She QUIT because she was getting found out here in Alaska. Her legal fees were a burdeon to our state. her outlandish points of view cost us an enormous setback in our economy. The butt end of her jokes has caused folks worldwide to look DOWN on Alaska but if you want her so bad,come take her out of here,we'd apreciate you for doing so. Facts are she knew some very rich men were on the take here at home and that is what made her famous nuff for McCain to ask her to run. A regret that cost him to lose. She is very uneducated when spoken to, Very biased and a bigot on gender issues. She only attended church for a mere 5 years of life so She was not even an active christian that got her church burned down due to her fat mouth. They are still trying to recover from THAT!

      April 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald Horn

      Let's put things into their proper perspective...

      April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IndyCar

    I remember playing outside without having to worry about ending up on a milk carton.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktod

      Me too. My children don't have the freedom I had 40 years ago.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mema

      I remember not being concerned with sleeping with the windows open and doors locked. Now I check and recheck them Its like being a caged animal living in fear. I wont let my grandson walk a block to play at the school alone or play outside unsupervised. I miss the days when we walked and road bikes and played outside all day till dark. Sigh.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. razor

    This heartbreaking story has haunted me for many years...there are animals among us.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      more like monsters among us

      April 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cajuntide

    I hope they can find something and give the family total closeisur.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alan S

    Closeisur is important.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leigh2

    There were monsters then, and there are monsters now ~ and no doubt much more of them walking among the rest of us these days. Anyhow, poor little boy. I'd like to think he got away from his abductor(s) somehow and then grew up to live his life, but the odds of that are next to nothing.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. amanda l.

    ummmm yeah....this article is super short-and doesnt even elaborate on why theyre searching that particular building...apparently the journalist had a quota to make-and it shows....this little boy deserved a much more in depth article!

    April 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brenda

    This stuff happened 40 years ago! You realize this boy disapeared in 1979 don't you? I was molested in 1975-7. A friend had a brother who disappeared in the mid 70's. Take off the rose colored glasses of your youth. Lots of us have different memories.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. asdf

    more distractions while the world exponentially digs itself deeper into worldwide police state and absolute economic collapse.

    50,000 kids DIE a day from starvation/nowater/etc. ATLEAST.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whonoo

    Those days of being able to play outside, in front of your house, in your yard & feeling safe are long gone, children are being hunted EVERYDAY. it's so scary, every other week there is am Amber alert for another missing child. it's chronic.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      It was chronic then too it's just wasn't as widely reported and we didn't have the means to get out the word. This boy went missing in 1979. Plus, all those people who were molested back then passed it onto the next generation exponentially.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brenda

    That's kind. It's likely this boy is dead you know.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaine

      Of course. That's why they're searching for remains.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ray

    i remember the case. don't know if he was walking by himself. if he was why would a parent let a 6yr old walk by themself to a bus stop in nyc? no matter how close it may have been.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darw1n

      Those were different times, or so we thought. I still won't let my 10 year old out of my sight these days.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      1979 was a different world.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • mema

      I live in a relatively small town and I wouldnt be able to do that here moreless NY. I had my kids call me when they arrived at their destination even when they had a ride. I couldnt have slept unless I got that call. My kids would ask to walk across town with friends and I hated to always so no but when you hear these things what else can you do but protect them. Oh my.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ms GOP

    Why is the discussion Palin? This is about a missing boy. Who cares about the one we all wish disappeared from the media.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4