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. tedt

    You run the risk of killing innocent people who get caught up in cops or the general public I.e. jurors gone wrong

    April 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Donald Horn

    I remember when this happened. So sad. I hope the family finds closure.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spuds

      I remember this like it happened yesterday. It was awful.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. archlenses

    A development now? I wonder if they were remodeling the building and found him stuffed in a wall or floor.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Melodykari78

    Terrible, terrible things should happen to people who commit crimes against children.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shameus

      Couldn't agree more

      April 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    I think the point of the article is that new information regarding this missing boy has come to light, triggering a response by local and federal agencies, with all, especially the family, hoping for answers. Political vultures and cheap, ignorant lowlifes always seem to ooze into places they have no business, like a blog about a missing boy.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. theTRUTH NOW

    Why search for this when the criminal will not be put to justice

    April 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cricket

      I'd want to bury my child....

      April 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. humberto

    Reagan wasn't president in 1979.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter V

      The article doesn't say Reagan designated it a special day in 1979. The boy disappeared in 1979. I would imagine it took a couple of years for the missing children's movement to coalesce and then have the president make it a day of rememberance. By then, Reagan was indeed in office. Reagan designated the day in 1983 - four years after Etan disappeared.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JGro

    No one else notice that the "then-president" when Etan went missing names May 25 as National Missing Children's Day... Reagan was not president in 1979....

    April 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DIANA

    This is so sad. I hope someone comes forward and helps this family find closure and I pray that God gives them strength to carry through. It's every parents nightmare – not knowing what happened to your child.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cricket

    ....and here's your sign.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MyTake

    So much fail, so little time to comment ...
    the fact that you misspell soccer - 3 stupid pts
    You seem to have little sympathy for those who lose their children - 5 cruel pts
    You further blame them for some fantasy idea that America has collapsed and on top of it attempt to show why we are so stupid by providing a link?
    - Priceless ignorance ...

    April 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ART

    I'am sorry you don't let a 6 year old do anything by themselves

    April 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. laurie209

    This is such a sad story. Most of us who are older remember this and also the photos of other missing children placed on milk cartons. I do hope that the police find this child to give these parents some answers. My prayers to these parents and to the others with missing loved ones.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gus

    in response to the comment sarah palins way. i served in the military and i think sarah palin is a moron who is only in it for her self am i not an american. next time u say she needs to speak to only real americans. u might want to think before i say somthing because its that kind of talk that divids this country not obama. and for the record im not a democrate.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jane

    Renee and other who are bashing the parents,

    You should be ashamed. It was a different time. I walked to school when I was in first grade and the school was 6 blacks form my home. EVERY kid in our neighborhood did the same thing .

    I saw the 2020 special and on this and the parents are still devestated after all these years so maybe you should think of them and Etan and keep your nasty comments to yourself!!!

    April 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
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