The Etan Patz case has taken an interesting turn in just 24 hours. Cadaver dogs brought to a building in lower Manhattan were able to pick up a human scent, and authorities are continuing their search for the missing boy.
According to the FBI and NYPD, interest in the 33-year-old case was renewed after information came in about a possible lead. Investigators then brought in cadaver dogs and announced their intention to reopen the case of the missing boy. One lead involved the building's 42-year-old carpenter who often offered work to Patz for $1.
The two had been seen together the day before Patz disappeared in 1979, leading investigators to question him again recently. On Thursday, April 19, the joint forces cordoned off the building's basement and began demolition. They are planning to tear down a concrete wall and excavate the floor.
The basement is where the cadaver dogs were able to pick up a human scent, CNN has reported. Right now the carpenter is 75-years-old and is not in police custody. Though police have questioned the man, they have not charged him with any wrongdoing. The investigation will continue though.
"We're looking for human remains, clothing or other personal effects of Etan Patz," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told CNN. "It s a very painstaking process."
Patz was only six when he left school to return home in 1979 but never made it. His face was the first to be featured on milk cartons, hoping that someone would provide the needed information to locate the boy. Since then, numerous children have been featured and new technology has allowed for implementation of the Amber Alert to raise awareness of missing children.
Patz was declared legally dead in 2001 as part of a civil lawsuit brought by the Patz family against Jose Antonio Ramos, who was found guilty of the child's murder. He was ordered to pay the family $2 million but never did and has been in prison for the past 20 years on an unrelated molestation charge.
"We are cautiously optimistic that the search will be helpful," FBI Special Agent Tim Flannelly told CNN.