FBI Targets New Suspect in Patz Case

Othniel Miller reportedly raped his niece before Patz vanished
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2012 4:06 PM CDT
FBI Targets New Suspect in Patz Case
This undated file photo provided May 28, 2010 by Stanley Patz shows Patz's son Etan, who vanished in New York on May 25, 1979.   (AP Photo/Stanley K. Patz, File)

The FBI has a new suspect in the 33-year-old disappearance of Etan Patz: a wood shop owner who once used the SoHo basement where cops are now digging for Patz's body, the New York Post reports. Othniel Miller, a 75-year-old living in Brooklyn, fell under suspicion after his ex-wife recently claimed he had raped his young niece a few years before Patz vanished in 1979. Federal officers used the claim to get a search warrant and start digging up the basement at 127 Prince St.

Until now, investigators have suspected convicted child-molester Jose Ramos of murdering Patz. But according to police, Miller gave Patz $1 for doing handy work the day before the boy disappeared, and poured fresh concrete in his workshop soon after. Miller's lawyer, Michael Farkas, said the handyman "was the last person to see the boy alive," according to the lawyer's New York cab driver. But Farkas said that "Mr. Miller did not do this. That’s why he’s fully cooperating with the investigation." (More Etan Patz stories.)

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