Etan Kalil Patz (October 9, 1972 – May 25, 1979 (Disappeared); legally declared dead in 2001) is a kidnapped American child. He was 6 years old when he disappeared in lower Manhattan, New York on May 25, 1979. At the time, news coverage of Patz’s disappearance was made into a media circus in the New York City area. He is arguably the most famous missing child of New York City. His disappearance helped spark the missing children’s movement, including new legislation and various methods for tracking down missing children, such as the milk carton campaigns of the mid-1980s. Etan was the first ever missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.
On May 25, 2010, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced that his office had reopened the case into Patz’s disappearance. On April 19, 2012 the FBI began a search into the SoHo basement of 127b Prince Street, which, at the time of Etan’s disappearance housed a wood shop and art storage space.
On the morning of Friday, May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz, by himself for the first time, left his SoHo apartment to walk the two blocks to catch the school bus. He did not reach the bus stop.
When he did not return home from school at 3:30 that afternoon, his mother reported him missing. An intense search began that evening, using nearly 100 police officers and a team of bloodhounds; the search would continue for weeks. Various circumstances surrounding this case, such as it being Etan’s first time outside alone, made it a high-profile, media-driven case. On April 19, 2012 police began searching the basement of a building in downtown Manhattan, which is near the area of Patz’ bus stop back then. Police are questioning a handyman who worked in that building during the time of Patz’ disappearance.
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