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Police Back At SoHo Basement To Look For Clues In Etan Patz Case

Etan Patz (credit: CBS 2)

Etan Patz (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Investigators are once again scouring the basement of a SoHo building hoping to find clues related to the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz.

For the second time this week, police, along with the office of the chief medical examiner, have returned to the sight of a former bodega where Pedro Hernandez worked 33 years ago, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

The 51-year-old Hernandez admitted two months ago to killing Patz. He was a teenage stock clerk at the time of the disappearance.

Investigators are looking for new physical evidence and are examining areas of the basement that were not previously inspected, sources told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.

Ellen Borakove, spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office, said their forensics team is on hand to assist the police in the investigation but have not been summoned for any specific find at the site.

Patz disappeared on his way to school on May 25, 1979, a date that would later be commemorated as National Missing Children’s Day. A judge in 2001 declared him dead, but his body has never been found.

Hernandez said he lured the boy from the bus stop with the promise of a soda, before suffocating him in the basement of the store, according to prosecutors. He left the neighborhood shortly after and was never considered a suspect by police until recently, when a tipster called police to say they believed he was responsible for the boy’s disappearance.

Hernandez reportedly confessed to dumping the boy’s body in the trash about a block away from the building.

Hernandez is currently in the psychiatric ward at Riker’s Island.

Court dates are on hold as doctors evaluate his mental fitness for trial.