Skip to Content

DNA analysis helps Philadelphia Police identify a child found dead inside a box 65 years ago

<i>Matt Rourke/AP/FILE</i><br/>The grave site of the unidentified child
Matt Rourke/AP/FILE
The grave site of the unidentified child

By Amanda Musa, CNN

More than six decades after a boy was found dead in a box in Philadelphia, investigators have identified the child with the help of DNA, police announced Tuesday.

In what would come to be known as the “Boy in the Box” case, the child was discovered wrapped in a blanket inside a cardboard box on February 25, 1957, in a wooded area of northeast Philadelphia, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The boy had several scars on his body and his hair had recently been roughly chopped and buzzed, the center said. The boy — estimated to be between 4 and 6 years old — weighed only 30 pounds and appeared to be malnourished, according to the center.

“Despite numerous attempts to identify the child throughout the years, the identity of the boy remained a mystery. Through detective work and DNA analysis, police are finally able to identify the child,” the Philadelphia Police Department said in a news release Tuesday.

Police have not yet released the name of the boy.

The case is Philadelphia’s oldest unsolved homicide, according to police, who are still looking for the child’s killer. There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

City authorities are holding a news conference on December 8 to discuss the new developments. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, along with the city medical examiner and the head of the police department’s homicide unit, will be present to share information, the release said.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: cnn-national

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content