- A picture of Etan Patz was the first to be put on the side of milk cartons
- The day he went missing - May 25 - is now National Missing Children's Day
- His body has never been found and no one has ever been charged
- A law official said the building being searched housed the workspace of a carpenter who was thought to have been friendly with Etan
Etan Patz was six years old when he went missing after leaving his Prince Street home on his way to school on May 25, 1979. He was the first child to have his picture printed on milk cartons.
NYPD and FBI officers were searching the basement underneath a clothing store for his remains, blood or pieces of his clothing throughout today - just a block away from where he went missing 33 years ago.
Unsolved: Police and the FBI are back at the lower New York City location where Etan Patz went missing in 1979 after they received a tip about where his remains may be
Hunt: FBI and NYPD search a building in Soho, NYC looking for the remains of Etan Patz close to the place he disappeared from 33 years ago on his way to school
Map: Etan went missing after leaving his home on 113 Prince Street on May 25, 1979. Today, police are searching premises a block away, on 127 Prince for his remains
Scene: The blue tarpaulin covers the basement where NYPD and FBI investigators equipped with jackhammers and pickaxes are searching for the remains of Etan Patz in Soho, New York
He was last seen walking two blocks from his lower Manhattan home to a bus stop for the ride to school wearing his favorite Eastern Air Lines Future Flight Captain hat - something his parents said he would even wear to bed.
The flyer distributed by the New York Police Department of Etan Patz who vanished on May 25, 1979
In May 2010, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said they were taking a fresh look at the decades-old case of the missing six-year-old.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the building being searched is about a block from where the family lived.
He says the excavation is the result of a recently-ordered review of the case by the Manhattan district attorney and that they expect to be at the site for two to three days, examining a space that now sits beneath a clothing store.
He said: 'We're looking for human remains, clothing or other personal effects of Etan Patz. It's a very painstaking process.'
Authorities didn't say what evidence led them to that location but a source said that in May 1979, the building housed the workspace of a carpenter who was thought to have been friendly with the young boy.
Two law enforcement officials confirmed that an FBI dog had picked up the scent of human remains after police received the tip off that led them to the building.
The 13-foot by 62-foot basement space being searched today sits beneath several clothing boutiques.
The building has undergone renovations over the decades, and Browne said investigators began by removing drywall partitions so they could get to brick walls that were exposed back in 1979 when the boy disappeared.
The excavation was part of a review of the case, recently ordered by the Manhattan district attorney, Browne said.
'This was a shocking case at the time and it hasn't been resolved,' he said.
Etan was the subject of one of the most extensive missing-child searches ever.
He admitted to trying to molest Etan on the day he disappeared but claims he did not kill him. He was dating the six-year-old's babysitter at the time.
The SoHo building the FBI have been searching in since 8.30am was along the path where the blond-haired boy disappeared.
His parents have never moved from their home, in the hope their son would one day find his way back. Nor have they changed their phone number, as Etan knew it off by heart.
Father Stan said another reason they did not want to move was because of their other two children Shira, who was eight at the time of the disappearance, and Ari, two.
Home: Stan and Julie Patz, left, stand on the balcony of their third floor apartment which they still live in today, right, in the hope their son would find his way back to them
Father: Professional photographer Stanley Patz has never given up hope that Joel Ramos, who he believes killed his son, will be charged for the crime and punished
Family: Stanly Patz, left, holds a photo of his son Etan, as he poses with his other son Ari, left, and his mother Julie appeared on a number of TV shows to try and find her son, right
Connection: Joel Ramos was the only suspect connected with Etan's disappearance though he has never been charged. he is currently in jail for molesting two boys in Pennsylvania
In 2005 they received a $2million award in their lawsuit against Ramos - money they will never see or expected to see.
'He was as nice a little boy as there could ever be,' his father testified during their proceedings.
Twice a year every year, photographer Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of the missing child poster with the words: 'What have you done with my little boy', written on the back to his prison cell.
As far as he is concerned, the convicted pedophile is responsible for his son's death.
Ramos had been a boyfriend of a woman who had been hired to walk Etan home from school during a school-bus strike a few weeks before he disappeared.
Ramos would later tell a prison cell mate he knew every stop of the bus route that took Etan to school and knew the six-year-old got off at the third stop.
Federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois took on the case in the late eighties and became determined to name Ramos as the prime suspect in the case and see him charged for his death.
When GraBois first said the name Etan Patz to him when he was called in for questioning, Ramos went white, according to a feature in New York Magazine written about Etan on the 30th year of his disappearance.
'I guess you have a witness. I’ll tell you everything, I want to get it off my chest,' Ramos sobbed, admitting that, yes, he’d taken a little boy to his apartment for sex on the day Etan disappeared and said he was '90 per cent sure' it was the same boy he later saw on TV.
He then claimed he have let the boy go when he spurned his advances and even said he walked him to the subway station. After that he asked for a lawyer and refused to answer any more questions about Etan Patz.
Tip off: The SoHo building the FBI have been searching in since 8.30am was along the path where the blond-haired boy disappeared
Search: NYPD and FBI investigators equipped with jackhammers and pickaxes entered a concrete-floored basement underneath Lucky Jeans on Prince Street in the SoHo section of New York
Investigation: Stuart GraBois, left, took on Etan Patz's case and fought tirelessly to prove Ramos was his killer, and Cy Vance, right, reopened the case in 2010 shortly after he took office
He said the pedophile told him about violating the boy, not just an attempt like he told police but that he had succeeded, and even said that he had picked him up on Prince Street by telling him he was 'Sandy's friend'.
Etan's father said a few years ago: 'Jose Antonio Ramos is the man who abducted my child. We lost our child to a pedophile, and that's not comprehensible.'
In 2010, shortly after taking office, Manhattan DA Cy Vance said he would re-open the case. Mr Patz had been frustrated at the way the case was being handled and was relieved when Mr Vance agreed to reopen it.
Hope: Throughout the last 33 years, police - and the Patzes - have re-released pictures of Etan and wanted posters in the hope of either finding him or his body
'I have waited more than 30 years for justice for Etan. I'll wait as long as it takes.'
Ramos is eligible for release this November, when he finishes a twenty-year sentence for child molestation.
Etan's disappearance brought national attention to the issue of missing kids, with May 25 declared National Missing Children’s Day.
THE BLONDE-HAIRED BOY WHOSE DISAPPEARANCE STARTED A NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT TO FIND MISSING CHILDREN
May 25, the day he disappeared, is National Missing Children's Day which was named by President Reagan in 1983 in honor of the missing six-year-old.
An entire network for tracking missing children emerged from his disappearance including Amber Alerts and pictures on milk cartons - Etan's was the first picture of a missing child to ever be put on a milk carton.
After 30 years the case is still officially open and the world has never forgotten the face of the blue-eyed, blonde-haired boy who captivated a nation.
Each administration since Regan has honored the annual reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families and make child protection a national priority.
The school noted Etan's absence but did not notify his parents. It wasn't until 3.30pm his mother Julie realized he was missing and called police. Etan's parents have since become outspoken advocates for missing children.
For years, they refused to change their phone number, in the hope that Etan was alive somewhere, and might call. They never moved.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2132164/FBI-search-Manhattan-apartment-Etan-Patz--33-years-went-missing.html#ixzz1sWW0IjdY