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NYC officers, forensic team back at bodega in Etan Patz case

NEW YORK CITY -- Investigators and forensic specialists from the medical examiner's office are back searching for evidence at the site of the former SoHo bodega where a man allegedly confessed to killing 6-year-old Etan Patz more than 30 years ago.

Detectives from the NYPD's crime scene unit and missing persons squad, along with the medical examiner's forensic anthropology experts, arrived just after 10 a.m. at the Prince Street location they've been searching for the past few months in connection with the child's long unsolved disappearance.

A high-ranking member of the Manhattan district attorney's office was also at the scene.

Friday marks the second time this week detectives returned to the basement area where suspect Pedro Hernandez, a stock clerk at the former bodega in the 1970s, allegedly told investigators he killed Patz.

Friday's search is a follow-up to other searches police have conducted at the location in hopes of finding forensic evidence that could place either Patz or Hernandez in the basement.

Police were last there Wednesday, when they removed items from the basement location. Those items, including hair, fiber and a book, are being analyzed by a police lab.

Sources familiar with the investigation said they didn't expect anything recovered in Wednesday's search to yield any clues to assist the investigation.

Hernandez was arrested in May after he allegedly told police he killed Patz 33 years ago in the basement of the bodega.  He had also made claims to members of his New Jersey church group back in the 1980s that he once had harmed a child in New York City.

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So far, police have not found any physical evidence to substantiate those claims. Investigators have been searching the basement for anything that could help corroborate Hernandez's confession.

Patz vanished in SoHo in 1979 as he walked to the corner to catch his bus to school. 

 

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