Philadelphia police identify child dead 65 years ago

More than 65 years after he was found dead in a cardboard box in Philadelphia, police have managed to name the remains of a boy with signs of abuse, thus solving one of the oldest cases in the city’s criminal history, according to the United States press.

Thanks to DNA evidence, it is known that the child who appeared wrapped in a blanket inside a box on a road in the northeast of the municipality, on February 25, 1957, was named Joseph Augustus Zarelli.


Known as the “cardboard boy”, the minor’s body showed signs of malnutrition and violence, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told reporters on Thursday (8) according to CNN.

An autopsy confirmed that the boy was between four and six years old. After several unsuccessful attempts over the years, the latest advances in genetic technology have allowed investigators to know the identity of the biological mother and father.


Police declined to release the names of these parents, but said they are dead and that Joseph had siblings.

However, there is little hope of finding the person responsible for the child’s death, although, according to the police, “they will keep trying”.


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