Nightly News | April 20, 2012
>>> he was a beautiful little boy with an exotic name, and when 6-year-old etan patz went missing before school in 1979 , he became the face of the missing children movement in this country, and his disappearance became an enduring mystery. yesterday, after 33 years, the fbi and police started digging in his old neighborhood, based on new questions about what's being called a person of interest in the case. we get more tonight from nbc's ron allen .
>> in new york's fashionable soho district, investigators remove the walls and cement basement floor, added to this building some time after etan patz disappeared.
>> we're hopeful we can bring some level of comfort to the parents.
>> it's about halfway along etan 's school bus stop that he never finished. back then, this man of brooklyn, new york, pictured in 2004 , had a workshop in that basement. he was questioned by police back then but never charged. sources say miller who is now 76, raised suspicions when police recently questioned him again about etan .
>> i'm not saying anything further than he denied involvement in what happened to this beautiful young boy .
>> lisa cohen has written about the case. gr.
>> the day before he went missing, he came home and was excited about a dollar bill he had given him.
>> he wanted to spebd the dollar in a store on his way to the bus stop . cohen spoke to etan 's father stanley patz yesterday.
>> it's a double edged sword for him because when this happens, there's thill -- there is this hope, but in token, there's this swarm of all this attention.
>> it's an iconic case that has recaptured the nation pfsz attention. in chicago --
>> it was a story that shocked chicago and the nation.
>> in los angeles --
>> oh, yeah, everybody is a little more guarded with their children, of course.
>> and it's brought that painful memory for ursela, an 8-year-old when he disappeared, who like him, walked to a bus stop in the same neighborhood to get to school.
>> i hope they do find something, just an answer. the worst part is not having any shred of an answer, of anything.
>> investigators say this operation could last for several more days. and they still refuse to stay if it's likely if they'll find anything significant. also, a handyman is also under investigation in the case.
>> ron allen here in new