SoHo, Lower Manhattan, NY- I have never seen a picture of this cherub that did not mirror my smile in response.
Etan’s innocence emanates from his baby-toothed grin like a neon glow stick.
It is all I can see at the moment I gaze upon it in its Willy Wonka technicolor. Not the Depp version.
Patz was wearing similarly fluorescent sneakers when he left home for the last time.
Etan , named from the Hebrew meaning- strong, firm and impetuous- lived up to his name while he was alive for six short years.
Perhaps his everlasting gobstopper is metaphoric, and he is about to rise out of the fizzy lifting drink chamber at 127B, which is currently disguised as a dank concrete slab and former workshop of Othniel Miller.
I was 10 years old when he went missing. My Father hales from the Bronx.
My last business meeting on Prince Street was in 2005 with Madam Fabulosity Kimora Lee Simmon’s assistant James. Great guy.
We got reamed.
“You have to back off the retouch on that one, she looks like a dude.”
He was right. Scott , the oracle of fashion print- ad- retouch saved the day and I had forgotten we were in “that building”.
Got Milk For Missing?
Etan Patz is the case study the criminology enthusiast and true crime aficionados can regurgitate verbatim.
A word to the wise to those who may not say his name correctly in professional conversation- It is on the “things you must never do if you wish to be taken seriously” list. Colleagues will involuntarily cringe.
He was the first missing child featured on the milk carton.
Ironically and without public service calcium he disappeared just after his own breakfast on his way to meet his school bus at the corner of Prince and Broadway.
The unofficial suspect for the last 33 years has been Jose Ramos. Ramos is currently incarcerated for child rape in Pennsylvania and is due to be paroled in November.
Lisa R Cohen, a former abc reporter and emissary to the Patz’s wrote about Etan’s case following a 2004 civil victory where he and Etan’s Mom Julie were awarded about 2 million in a wrongful death action against Ramos.
AFTER ETAN may need a new epilogue.
What was not known publicly before the FBI began jack hammering the first quadrant of the Prince St building basement which housed his old workshop on Friday, was Jamaican national Othniel Miller was also on the short list of possible suspects in 1979.
Investigators renewed their acquaintance with Mr. Miller twice last week before securing a warrant which has been sealed.
The basement space was also home to a makeshift playgroup made possible by donated space from an adjacent gallery, and renovated by resourceful parent tenants. Shira Patz, Etan’s older sister, was a member.
Miller was known throughout the neighborhood as a skilled carpenter and handyman. Ramos was considered a vagrant who mostly lived in a drainage ditch and managed to skirt multiple molestation allegations.
Miller paid Master Patz a dollar the day before he disappeared as he skipped down the block to tell his parents Stan and Julie.
“I want to spend this at the bodega tomorrow!”
Can’t you just hear that jubilant voice exceeding his height in volume in your head?
Etan Patz never made it to school on May 25, 1979.
May25th is now National Missing Children’s Day courtesy of Former President Ronald Reagan.
Which one would know if you lost the sibling battle to read the cereal box quiz and were therefore forced to hide your “slight” behind the milk; like it was AS interesting.
Reading the nutritional value of same aloud in retaliation over the voice of your sister notwithstanding, we both shut up.
In retrospect the yogurt moustache branding thing would have been preferable.
Mom enters upon the conversation battle void anomaly to remind us how lucky we were that Grammy and Poppa moved Daddy out of the city or we would never have been born.
She would never have agreed to live there no matter how much she loved Daddy. It was not safe for children.
“This happens in the city in big buildings because you can’t possibly know everyone that lives there.”
“Don’t ever take anything from or talk to a stranger and finish your breakfast or you will be late for the bus,” she scolded.
“What if he has a golden ticket?”, lamebrain in pigtails asked.
“Especially NEVER”, Mom replied.
On last Thursday afternoon, Othniel Miller was returned to his home by investigators walking with a cane he has been using since a multitude of strokes since 2008.
Customers found him easygoing and polite. He knew the Patz family, worked on the oak doors in their lobby, and did carpentry for at least one other family in their building.
Julie Patz described him to police in 1979 as a family friend. There is at least one witness account that claims Ramos had a key to Miller’s workshop.
An as yet unidentified former assistant of Millers in 1979 has law enforcements ear and is said to be cooperating with investigators.
Also audible on the possible pedophilic public address system is Miller’s former wife. They were divorced in 1986, but Phyllis Miller is alleging her ex raped a 10 year old girl.
Millers only known criminal offense at this point is driving with a suspended license in 2004 while visiting the couple’s daughter in Tampa.
Miller’s attorney Michael Farkas met the media head on.
“He is innocent,” the attorney said. “He is not involved in this terrible murder. He is going to continue to help authorities as best he can.”
Note to self: unfair to say Farkas rhymes with Farces when it really does not.
Let’s be clear about something. The Eff Bee Eye does not even escavate walk ups in Soho without the strongest probable cause warrant 33 years can bye. Misspelling intended.
Cadaver canines with the prestigious Quantico address alerted to the death pads and their NYPD counterparts confirmed their findings onsite.
Will modern forensics and strong teamwork between NYPD and the FBI recover Etan?
Precariously Perched On a Precipice
Taking snapshots from the balcony overlooking the “recovery site” ,Etan’s Dad has his lens fixed on the building he has seen, walked past and perhaps spit on, for 33 years.
When odor absorbing pads are placed in a building within your purview and subsequently generate multiple warrants to find items of your missing child, the “view from your fire escape” must feel like no escape at all.
Stan and Julie Patz remain the sentry watch for Etan both literally and proximately.
Stan Patz has sent Jose Antonio Ramos a copy of his sons flyer bi-annually on October 9 and May 25th; Etan’s birthday and the anniversary of his disappearance respectively.
He handwrites “What Have You Done To My Little Boy?” on each one.
Immediately prior to my meeting on Prince, which by now qualifies as “who gives a shit” in context, I had a kaffe in the same shop that Mrs. Patz was enjoying when the press approached her once the dig started.
Please Find Him. I pray to God they do not find him.
Like most, I fluctuate between the two travesties.
“I still gag at the fear he must have felt at the thought that an adult betrayed him.”
Me too Mr Patz, Me too.
Ramos has not left the top of the skeeve list, and there is evidence that Miller and Ramos worked together on a few projects.
All of which after a third of a century are seemingly reliant upon finding Etan or some evidence allowing prosecutors to indict.
Cy Vance, when running for Manhattan DA, made a promise to Stan Patz and the Patz family. If he was elected, he would reopen the investigation into Etan’s disappearance and probable murder.
With much help from former Federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois, he has more than made good on his word.
GraBois actually deputized himself in the state of Pennsylvania to be able to investigate and charge Ramos in a string of offenses ultimately ending in his current incarcerati0n.
Ramos befriended a woman who worked briefly for the Patz’s to gain access to her son. Although she is not willing to be identified, she believes Ramos molested her son for years, causing him to take his own life after troubles with the law.
She walked Etan to school during a brief period in 1979 during a transportation strike.
Etan’s anguished and unwillingly patient parents wait for news at 113 Prince St, E 3.
They have made it clear to all members of the media they will have no comment right now, and ask for their privacy.
Scapular removal of the basement cement poured shortly after Etan’s disappearance is expected to continue through the early part of next week.
If Etan Patz is destined to be found finally , and I pray that he is: I dub him my prince of Prince Street.
Check back to www.blinkoncrime.com for updates on Etan’s recovery.
A stain on a wall which was previously the workspace of Othniel Miller reacted positively to a luminol field test. The wall portions have been removed and sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, VA.
An unamed source said “there is truth to that” when asked if Miller blurted out “what if the body was moved” while in the basement with investigators.