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Re-opened 1979 missing child case was catalyst for formation of Center for Missing and Exploited Children

By WKTV News

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (WKTV) - FBI agents and New York City Police have re-opened a 33 year old case of a missing boy, a disappearance which led to the first picture on a milk carton, and eventually, the formation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Officials dug into the concrete floor of a Manhattan basement on Friday, searching for the remains of Etan Patz after an FBI cadaver dog had picked up a scent of human remains. The six year old disappeared in 1979 and triggered a media sensation.

Local representatives for the center say reopening this case is giving many other parents hope.

"What this sends out now is a message to, not only the volunteers here in Utica and the people who work hard to put out posters, but to parents to missing children across this country," said Frank Williams, Director of the Ride for Missing Children. "It is our promise from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, from law enforcement, to parents, that we will never stop searching for your missing child. We will never forget your missing child."

The local chapter of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children is the hub for poster distribution.

Since 1995, 7.5 million posters have gone out for more than 7,000 missing kids. To date, 5,000 kids have been returned home.

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