Etan Patz: Officials suspend investigation during downpour (UPDATED)
The FBI suspended their search today during a downpour, temporarily stopping their probe of a space below a Prince Street apartment building for clues in the cold-case mystery of Etan Patz.
Patz, 6, disappeared in 1979 on his way to the bus stop. Last week, NYPD and FBI agents blocked off a Prince Street block to investigate a new tip in the case.
Officials would not detail the tip, but NYPD spokesman Paul Browne confirmed to Metro that the department has human remains specialists on site.
“The search is active and very much ongoing, and we’ll be here for as long as it takes,” FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald told Metro.
Donald said FBI agents will be back on the scene tomorrow to continue the investigation.
About 30 to 40 FBI agents from the Evidence Response Team Unit are removing materials from the apartment, which will be sent to their Virginia headquarters for testing, Donald said.
According to reports, investigators are testing a stain found in the basement. Police started searching the basement after a cadaver dog smelled human remains there, according to the New York Post.
The Daily News reports that agents have visited a retired handyman, Othniel Miller, 75, three times in two days. Miller was seen with Patz the night before he disappeared, according to the newspaper.
“Give him some privacy,” his daughter told the newspaper.
For years, police considered Jose Ramos the main suspect. Ramos was an acquaintance of the boy’s babysitter and is now in prison for child molestation, but was never charged in the case.
Cops are interested in Miller’s workspace, which was in the basement of the Prince Street building.
The New York Post reported that the cellar was transformed into a playground, where neighborhood children, including Patz’s older sister, Shira, played.