NEW YORK (WPIX)—It was one of biggest stories to ever captivate New York City and beyond, and on Thursday the NYPD and FBI resumed the search for Etan Patz, a 6-year-old child who went missing in 1979.
Federal and local authorities were searching the basement of a building on Prince Street in SoHo, just feet from where Patz was last believed to have been seen.
Patz was last seen in the vicinity of Prince and Wooster streets on May 25, 1979 where he was walking from his lower Manhattan home to a bus stop for the ride to school.
The latest developments in the case comes two years after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced plans to reopen the missing child's case. The D.A. said the reopening was part of making good on a campaign promise.
Additionally, reports say the new lead which is the centerpiece of the D.A.'s investigation is a suspect described as a neighborhood handyman identified as 75-year-old Othneil Miller.
The New York Post reports, Miller used to pay Patz a few dollars to run errands around a work shop he had in the Prince St. basement authorities are now excavating.
Detectives were led to Miller after the missing child's mother, Julie Patz suggested that authorities speak to him.
According to the Post, "After talking to Miller, the feds put "scent pads" which absorb odors in the basement and then brought them to a cadaver dog, and "got a hit," which means the dogs got the scent of human remains, sources said."
The search may take several days.
Following his disappearance, Etan became the subject of one of the most extensive missing-child searches ever, becoming the first missing child to ever appear on the side of a milk carton. He was never found but was officially declared dead in 2001.
Jose Ramos, an imprisoned child molester, is still considered the prime suspect in the case of the missing child. Although he was never charged in the case, officials determined he had a direct connection with the child having dated a woman who used to care for Etan.
Although he was never prosecuted, a New York civil case in 2004 declared him solely responsible for Etan's disappearance and death.
Each year, on the anniversaries of Etan's birthday and disappearance, the child's father Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of his son's missing child poster. On the back he types the same message: "What did you do to my little boy?"