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Dig begins in Etan Patz case

This news story was published on April 22, 2012.
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By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times –

Authorities began sifting through dirt in a New York City basement Saturday as part of an ongoing search for the remains of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished in 1979.

The basement’s concrete floor was removed Saturday morning and the area was broken into quadrants, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities dug 11/2 feet to 2 feet into portions of the dirt floor, Browne said. He did not comment on what, if anything, was found.

Etan disappeared May 25, 1979, after leaving home to walk to a school bus stop.

The search for the boy was renewed Thursday after an FBI dog indicated the scent of human remains in the room, on a stretch of Prince Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

The building is on the block where Etan lived and where his parents still live.

FBI agents have spoken to a man who apparently knew the boy, and who once worked in the basement. Othniel Miller, 75, was questioned, though he was not identified as a suspect.

The search will continue through the weekend, Browne said.

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