A boy's name has finally been revealed in the enduring mystery of what happened to him in 1957.
It has been a long time.
Joseph Augustus Zarelli, a 4-year-old boy from West Philadelphia, was identified as the "Boy in the Box" by DNA evidence and genealogical research.
It is unclear who was responsible for Joseph's death, and authorities declined to reveal his parents' names.
An active and ongoing criminal investigation is underway, and I would be irresponsible in sharing our suspicions,” Philadelphia Police Homicide Captain Jason Smith stated on Thursday.
In order to respect Joseph's many living siblings, Smith said the PPD could not identify Joseph's parents - both of whom are deceased - because they are both deceased.
Police hope Thursday's announcement will generate "an avalanche of tips" from the public, Smith said. Joseph lived near 61st and Market streets and had never been reported missing, Smith said.
We're hoping that someone in their 70s or 80s will remember that child,” Smith told reporters after acknowledging that Joseph's killer may never be identified or arrested.
In a wooded area near the corner of Susquehanna and Verree roads, his body was discovered bruised and wrapped in a blanket more than 65 years ago.
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