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03rd Dec 2022

‘America’s Unknown Child’ identified solving mystery after 65 years

Steve Hopkins

The boy was found discarded on a road in a bassinet box in February 1957

Investigators have finally worked out who the boy at the centre of one of America’s most infamous unidentified person cases is, some 65 years after ‘The Boy in the Box’ case came to light.

A child was found murdered, stuffed in a box and abandoned in Philadelphia decades ago.

On Wednesday, for the first time, the Philadelphia Police Department said they have uncovered the boy’s name, CBS Philadelphia reported, noting that charges could still be filed.

Investigators finally cracked the case after years of DNA analysis, cross-referenced with genealogical information.

The body of the 4-to-6-year-old was found discarded along Susquehanna Road in a bassinet box in February 1957, and he eventually came to be known as “America’s Unknown Child.”

In April 2021, now-retired Detective sergeantBob Kuhlmeier said the boy’s cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma.

“He appeared to be cleaned and freshly groomed with a haircut.”

Detectives exhumed the remains in 2019, retrieving more DNA which was then used, along with information obtained from genealogy databases, to track down family members.

Cemetery workers at Ivy Hill, who had looked over the resting place, were moved by the breakthrough, telling CBS it was “wonderful” news.

“To have a name on that stone, that’s what everybody has been wishing forever,” Linda Tamburri said.

“I’m just glad I’m here to actually know I’ll see that little boy’s name on the stone.”

Dave Drysdale, cemetery secretary and treasurer at Ivy Hill, said. “I just wish that the police officers and all the people involved who long passed away were still here to see it because that was one of their goals and a couple of them said ‘I hope they live long enough to see a name put on there.'”

Drysdale was here on the day in 1998 when the remains were transferred to Ivy Hill from Potter’s Field.

Philadelphia police will be giving an update on the case as early as next week.

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