Ohio missing girls case: NYPD keeps spotlight on unsolved child vanishings

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STATEN ISLAND, NY (PIX11) —   New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told PIX11 the NYPD remained committed to solving its own “Missing Children” cases and said of the remarkable developments in Cleveland, where three young women were rescued from captivity: “It’s great news, but after all these years in the (police) business, I don’t find anything stunning anymore.”

Kelly talked to PIX about the case of Patrick Alford, who was only 7 when he vanished from his foster mother’s side on Jan. 22, 2010, at the Spring Creek Houses in Brooklyn. The two were putting out the trash on the 11th floor of one building.

“We have an active case,” Kelly said of the Alford investigation. The child’s biological mother, who was living on Staten Island and struggling with substance abuse issues, was interviewed extensively by police. Alford is now missing more than three years.

Etan Patz

Etan Patz disappeared from a SoHo street in May 1979.

Back in early 2010, the police commissioner told PIX his cops had searched 9,000 apartment units and interviewed 14,000 people about the missing Patrick Alford.

Last year, the NYPD had a break in one of its biggest, missing child mysteries ever. A 51-year-old New Jersey man, Pedro Hernandez, confessed that he had abducted 6 year old Etan Patz on a street in SoHo in 1979, as the boy was walking alone to the school bus stop for the very first time.

RELATED: COVERAGE OF THE ETAN PATZ CASE

Hernandez said he killed the boy in a bodega basement and then disposed of the body in the trash. Patz’s remains have never been found.

One positive outcome in a New York City child abduction case involved Carlina White, an infant who was only 19 days old and battling a 104 degree fever, when she was snatched from Harlem Hospital in 1987.

When White was 23 years old and living under the name Nejdra Nance, she figured out the woman who’d been raising her had lied about her true identity.

Ann Pettway, 50 years old, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last year in Manhattan Federal Court. Her lawyer told the judge that Pettway, posing as a nurse, had taken the child, because Pettway had suffered multiple miscarriages.

Carlina White had a difficult time bonding with her biological parents, when she finally met them.