'Boy in the box' identity revealed nearly 66 years after child was found dead




  • In US
  • 2022-12-08 20:46:00Z
  • By NY Daily News

After more than six decades of mystery and dead ends, authorities on Thursday finally identified the "boy in the box" who was discovered dead alongside a Pennsylvania roadway.

Philadelphia police revealed Joseph Augustus Zarelli as the name of the child, who was 4 years old. His body was found in 1957.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the unsolved death has long "haunted this community, the Philadelphia Police Department, our nation, and the world."

"When people think about the boy in the box, a profound sadness his felt, not just because a child was murdered, but because his entire identity and his rightful claim to own his existence was taken away," Outlaw said at a news conference.

On Feb. 25, 1957, the naked remains of the child were found inside a bassinet box in a wooded area in northeast Philadelphia. Officials said he had been badly beaten and severely malnourished.

No one came forward to claim the child and the investigation eventually went cold.

Joseph's remains were initially buried in a potter's field in Philadelphia and remained there until 1998, when they were exhumed for testing that would not provide authorities with any clues. His body was re-interred at Ivy Hill Cemetery, where a headstone today reads, "America's Unknown Child."

The body was again exhumed in 2019 with the hope modern technology could offer new insight.

Outlaw said a combination of detective work and DNA analysis allowed them to finally learn Joseph's identity. The homicide investigation remains open, and authorities said they hope releasing the boy's name will spur new leads.

"I want to thank all who have worked tirelessly since 1957 to give Joseph Augustus Zarelli his voice back," she later tweeted. "However, the search for justice continues."

Authorities are offering a $20,000 reward for information in the case.

With News Wire Services

COMMENTS

More Related News

Report: Sixers have called Pistons about acquiring big man Nerlens Noel
Report: Sixers have called Pistons about acquiring big man Nerlens Noel

The Philadelphia 76ers have called the Detroit Pistons and have inquired about acquiring Nerlens Noel.

Sixers vs. Knicks game preview: Lineups, how to watch, broadcast info
Sixers vs. Knicks game preview: Lineups, how to watch, broadcast info

The Philadelphia 76ers get set to take on the New York Knicks on Sunday to continue their road trip.

Breaking down every Eagles offensive player ahead of Super Bowl LVII
Breaking down every Eagles offensive player ahead of Super Bowl LVII

As the Eagles prepare to face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, here's a breakdown of every offensive player on the roster. By Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia teen shot by victim he allegedly attempted to carjack faces charges
Philadelphia teen shot by victim he allegedly attempted to carjack faces charges
  • US
  • 2023-02-04 03:03:49Z

A teen who was shot while attempting to carjack a vehicle in Philadelphia has been charged in the incident.

Biden, Harris head to Philadelphia as they hone 2024 message
Biden, Harris head to Philadelphia as they hone 2024 message

President Biden and Vice President Harris are off to Philadelphia on Friday, a rare joint trip for the two leaders that will be a mix of the White House...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US