Some answers are found, others remain in the case of “America’s Unknown Child”

Some answers are found, others remain in the case of Americas Unknown Child

Tony Kerr, Reporter

After 65 years, little Joseph Augustus Zarelli has been identified. Previously known as “The Boy in the Box” or “America’s Unknown Child,” he was finally identified on Thursday, December 8.

He was found at the age of four on February 25, 1957, by a college student. The college student waited a day before reporting the body presumably out of fear. Few clues remained as to who murdered or at least disposed of the body of the boy.

The boy was not clothed, his hair had been freshly cut by a less than professional “barber,” and the box he was found in (originally holding a bassinet) was bought with cash. The purchaser had been found, but had few links to the case and is not considered as a suspect in the case. The college student also did not match the profile for having had anything to do with the case.

At this point the case seems to be a dead end with little evidence. However, the Philadelphia police have their suspicions on some possible suspects. They did not feel it was appropriate at this time to say, however, due to the lack of evidence in this case. The police were quick to point out that having had the identity of the boy back then may have been key to solving the case much faster.

Since this discovery was purely based on the release of newer DNA technology along with some DNA databases, this would have been impossible at the time. The DNA that managed to be connected with his was from his siblings that are still alive today. His parents are long gone, though. Even some of the investigators had passed away in the time it took to make this discovery.

Hopefully the discovery of the boy’s name may lead to a possible conviction or at least a better understanding of what happened in the case that the perpetrator has already been caught for another crime or has died due to the long wait for this finding.