Etan Patz and his mother Julie.
Farkas yesterday revealed that on Thursday — as news of the FBI’s search of the basement broke — federal agents “brought him to the scene.”
Dozens of FBI agents and NYPD officers were back there yesterday — using drills and jackhammers to excavate the floor of the basement, where a cadaver dog recently “got a hit” on human remains, according to sources.
Two Dumpsters were used to hold the large pieces of broken-up concrete that was being brought out from the basement. Agents will sift that material for any remains.
The dig is expected to take four or five days, and is occurring doors away from the building where Etan’s parents, Stan and Julie, still live.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Tim Flannelly, an FBI spokesman, who nonetheless noted, “This is one of many leads.”
Dr. Lawrence Koblinsky, a forensic scientist from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, visited the site yesterday, and said that while it is “questionable as to whether they will find anything, . . . with the dog alerting, the probability increases that this is a significant area.”
“I think whoever did this, if that person buried the child, I don’t think they knew enough forensics to destroy the evidence,” Koblinsky said. “In addition to a body, there may be other trace evidence that still remains, even after 30 years.”
And because of improvements in DNA technology, Koblinsky said, “identifying the bones of Etan Patz is certainly doable.”
Miller has long been known to police. On the day before Etan disappeared, the handyman gave him $1 for doing some work in his shop.
Another thing that caught cops’ attention at the time of the crime was a concrete floor freshly poured in Miller’s workshop after Etan vanished. But they never dug it up at the time after Miller told them they would have to pay to replace it.
Farkas said his client “has spoken to the FBI repeatedly, on more than one occasion, within the last month.”
“Mr. Miller did not do this. That’s why he’s fully cooperating with the investigation,” Farkas said.
Miller’s son, Ansel Miller, yesterday said “I don’t believe” Othniel had anything to do with Etan’s disappearance, noting, “He didn’t get so much as a parking ticket” in his life.
Miller had an alibi and allowed the feds full access to the basement, Ansel said.
Ansel also said his father has suffered a stroke and a bad fall in recent years, and is unable to fully comprehend the events of the past several weeks.
The new focus on Miller came as a surprise, because investigators for decades had believed Etan was abducted by Ramos, the pedophile who was dating the boy’s baby sitter at the time.
Ramos, who is serving an unrelated prison sentence in Pennsylvania, was found civilly liable for Etan’s death in 2004 by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge. But he never was criminally charged.
David Fisher, the author of the 1995 book “Hard Evidence,” about the FBI’s forensic laboratory, yesterday told The Post that when he visited that lab to do research he was shown an age-adjusted picture of what Etan may have looked like in the early 1990s if he were alive.
“And they showed me a photo of a young person — a teenager — looking exactly like that [rendering] getting on a bus . . . somewhere in Florida,” Fisher said. “They said they went down there, and never found him.”
“The FBI continued to look for him — they never stopped — and they were never convinced that he was dead,” Fisher said about the Patz mystery.
“It’s a fascinating story,” he said.