TIM FLANNELLY: This is one of many leads that we’re covering, but we are cautiously optimistic. (0:05)
ORR: This is now a buys block occupied by a handful of designer clothing shops. But at the time Etan vanished, the space was used as a workshop by handyman at number 127B Prince Street.
Authorities are working on a theory that the handyman, Othniel Miller, killed the boy and buried him there, according to one law enforcement official. But the building’s manager and long-time resident, Steve Kuzma, says Miller never struck him as suspicious:
KUZMA: He was a nice fellow, a jolly round fellow. He did work for a lot of people around here. (0:07)
ORR: Kuzma admits he’s flustered by the commotion has often done maintenance in the basement, where forensic teams are now searching for Etan’s remains.
KUZMAN: It’s a little shocking. It gives me a feeling of disturbance. (0:10)
ORR: This latest development has rekindled attention into a case that’s struck a chord with parents since it first happened.
LISA COHEN: There was what I called the ‘Before Etan,’ when kids played in the streets and you just said ‘be home before dinner.’ After Etan, everything changed. (0:10)
ORR: Journalist Lisa Cohen is the author of a book on the disappearance, and has been close to the case since 1990. Cohen spoke to Etan’s parents yesterday, and says they’re not getting their hopes up.
COHEN: They’ve been through this so many times before, there have been so many times they were told, we have him, we know who he is, this is going to break the case. And it just didn’t. (0:11)
ORR: Sean Sweeney is a friend and neighbor of the Patzs, and watched the entire case unfold. He’s hoping this latest development will lead to some closure for Etan’s parents.
SWEENEY: I think they’re really looking for justice. It’s bad enough to lose a child, but the guy who did it gets away with it. (0:06)
ORR: Authorities expect to continue excavations throughout next week. Leanna Orr, Columbia Radio News.