After six decades, the young victim of a terrible murder will finally be identified after Philadelphia police made a huge breakthrough in the case.
The victim, a boy between the ages of 3 and 7, was found dead back in 1957 and was known as the “Boy in the Box.”
According to WCAU-TV, the slain boy’s identity had been a mystery ever since he was discovered in a box, naked and terribly beaten, in Philadelphia’s Fox Chase neighborhood.
According to Bill Fleisher of the Vidocq Society, the case is “the longest continuously investigated homicide in the history of the Philadelphia Police Department.” The Vidocq Society is made up of former law enforcement and forensic experts who seek to solve cold cases, according to WCAU.
On Wednesday, police confirmed that the boy had finally been identified and his birth certificate had been found thanks to DNA evidence and genealogy databases.
Officials will announce the child’s name next week at a news conference.
BREAKING: Philadelphia Police sources confirm they have identified the 1957 murder victim known as “The boy in the box.” The department is expected to provide an update on the case next week. DNA and genealogical information helped detectives crack the case @CBSPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/xN9sjFrYWT
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) November 30, 2022
Last year, police Capt. Jason Smith confirmed that investigators were on the brink of cracking the case. He added that identifying the boy was only the beginning.
“The investigation will start all over again and then we’ll start searching for a suspect,” he said.
Through the many years of this investigation, theories have abounded as to who the boy was and where he came from.
“We thought maybe he was a Hungarian kid who came over in ’56 when they had the Hungarian Revolution,” Fleisher said.
That theory seems to be off base, as a DNA sample traces the boy back to a prominent family in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, WCAU reported.
In the absence of a name, the boy’s headstone simply reads, “America’s Unknown Child.” Soon, that headstone may have a proper name.
“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.”
According to KYW-TV, Tamburri is a cemetery worker who has cared for the boy’s resting place for a long time.
Another worker, Dave Drysdale, was overjoyed with the latest development in the case.
“Some day, there will be a name on there and it will be great,” Drysdale said.