03:49 - Source: CNN
Will landfill search help Patz case?

Story highlights

Police say authorities are undecided over whether to renew their search for the 6-year-old's remains

"We are not involved in digging," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters

Pedro Hernandez, 51, stands accused of choking to death the boy after luring him to a basement

New York CNN  — 

More than three decades after Etan Patz went missing, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said authorities have not yet decided whether to renew their search for the 6-year-old’s remains.

Investigation continues after arrest

“We are not involved in digging,” Kelly told reporters on Tuesday. “Obviously the investigation is going forward and it may require that we go to places and execute warrants. That hasn’t happened at this time.”

Pedro Hernandez, 51, is accused of choking the boy to death after luring him to the basement of a corner grocery store in Lower Manhattan, throwing away his body inside a trash bag.

Authorities say Hernandez, then an 18-year-old store clerk, left his job in Manhattan and returned to his mother’s home in southern New Jersey shortly after Patz disappeared on May 25, 1979.

Relative: Hernandez was reported to police decades ago

On Monday, authorities asked the city’s Sanitation Department for trash pickup and dumping records dating back to 1979, according Vito Turso, a spokesman for the department.

“We said we would search for those handwritten logs,” he said.

However, Turso said, businesses in the area could have hired private companies to haul away their trash, and “we would have no records of their pickup schedules.”

The Patz case was the first of several high-profile cases that brought concern about missing children to the forefront of national consciousness.

Police say they tracked down Hernandez after a tipster contacted authorities last month. The person came forward after seeing publicity surrounding the search of an unrelated basement in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, a half block from the Patz home.