The FBI announced this morning their investigation into the 33-year-old cold case of Etan Patz’s disappearance is over — for now.
Patz, 6, disappeared in 1979 on his walk to the school bus stop. Patz was legally declared dead by his family in 2001, but last week, NYPD and FBI agents reopened the case, blocking off a block along Prince Street in SoHo to investigate a now-abandoned basement cellar where Patz may have played as a child.
FBI agents spent the past five days digging up an 800-square-foot basement at 127B Prince Street, in a building at the corner of Wooster and Prince streets that now houses a trendy jeans store.
Agents started looking there after receiving a tip last week, and a cadaver-sniffing dog had even picked up the possible scent of human remains inside the basement.
But now, agents said they found everything they could in the cellar.
“The FBI has concluded the on-site portion of the search,” FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald told Metro this morning. “The street and local businesses will be re-opened.”
Agents found a suspicious stain on one of the basement walls,. They found a single hair at the site, but it is not blonde, as Patz’s hair was. They also found a piece of paper, which they are also investigating.
They also found animal bones buried in the basement, among Chinese food takeout containers, but officials warned those could simply be the remains of someone’s dinner.
Investigators removed bucket after bucket of dirt and concrete after tearing up the basement floor.
Officials suspended their search Sunday during the downpour.
What’s next in the case?
All the materials taken away from the site will be tested at the FBI’s headquarters in Quantico, Virgina, Donald said.
Piece of a cinderblock wall that may have possible biological evidence on it will also be tested for human tissue and bodily fluids, such as blood or semen.
FBI agents filled two Dumpsters with debris from the basement and those are being taken to a Staten Island landfill. That debris will be stored not far from the debris gathered after the Twin Towers fell in 9/11.