The Philadelphia police solved part of a mystery that dates back to 1957.
A body of a boy was discovered in a Philadelphia box sixty-five years ago.
On Thursday, Danielle Outlaw (Philadelphia Police Commissioner) announced that the boy was four years old Joseph Augustus Zarelli. Zarelli was born in 1953. Police used modern DNA and genealogical methods to identify Zarelli.
The boy was found wrapped in blankets in a cardboard box in Northeast Philadelphia’s Fox Chase neighborhood on February 25, 1957. His identity has not been confirmed over the years.
The boy was 30 lbs in weight and appeared to be malnourished.
This announcement closes one chapter in the story of Joseph Augustus Zarelli but opens another. Without the dedication, hard work, and passion of many, America’s child Joseph Augustus Zarelli would not be where he is today.
Today, after 65 years, America’s Unknown Child’s name was finally restored. I want to thank all who have worked tirelessly since 1957 to give Joseph Augustus Zarelli his voice back. However, the search for justice continues. If you have any information on his homicide, please…
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) December 8, 2022
Authorities believe Zarelli died of blunt-force trauma. They might also have an idea of who was responsible.
Captain John Smith, Philadelphia Police stated that although we have suspicions as to who could be responsible, it would be irresponsible of me to share the suspects because this is an ongoing criminal investigation.
Zarelli has two siblings, who are both still alive, even though their parents have passed away. To protect Zarelli’s identity, police are keeping their identities under wraps.
Smith said that Joseph had many siblings on both the mother’s and father’s sides. Smith expressed respect for their privacy.
Detectives described this case as “one of those cases” that have bothered law enforcement for decades. Families of victims are also affected by such cases.
Bill Kelly was one of those law enforcement officers who saw the “Boy in the Box”, an eerie and disturbing case. Kelly made fingerprints on the body when the case broke.
“He was the first person to arrive on that fateful morning.”
Kathleen Kelly Greene stated that she believed her father would be happy.
It is possible that the family will see justice. Police offer a $20,000 reward for any information that leads to the investigation.
Sometimes it’s easy to be critical of technology’s impact on our world. It’s wonderful when police can use modern technology to solve cases that were previously unsolved.