UNSOLVED: He’s Been NAMED!! Joseph Augustus Zarelli, (4), PA

UNSOLVED: He’s Been NAMED!! Joseph Augustus Zarelli, (4), PA

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child


Long term fans will already know that we’ve previously covered the case of The Boy in the Box. For years, we’ve kept up to date on his case, our hearts broken that this little boy had no name, no identity, and no one to claim him. Well, it’s finally happened! The little man has finally been named, today!

Joseph Augustus Zarelli, aka America’s Unknown Child, aka the Boy in the Box. He was born on January 13th, 1953 and he was just 4-years-old when he was murdered. He is believed to be from West Philadelphia.



We previously covered that they had extracted more DNA in 2019 in the hopes of identifying him.  Thanks to forensic genealogy experts have been able to link his DNA to that of his family. At present, details of his family are not being released. Joseph has several living siblings on both his parents sides that will now be made aware that the infamous case that has captured the hearts of the entire world, is a case involving their big/little brother, Joseph. His parents are dead and they are keeping their names confidential.

There was an item of clothing found with Joseph that they are hopeful can be linked with further evidence and may help with identifying suspects.



The authorities have said they do have an idea of who is responsible for the death of little Joseph, but they are keeping this confidential for the time being. It’s with sadness that we may never see justice for Joseph’s death as it’s likely those responsible for the death of Joseph have since passed.



Our hearts go out to the family just learning about this, we’ve already shed tears today when his name was finally released. We ask that you respect that this little boy does have a family, and refrain from comments or suggestions of guilt until the authorities have released further details on suspects.

It’s unknown what will happen to Joseph’s gravestone, but we would imagine this will now be updated to include this beautiful little boy’s name. May you rest in peace, little one.


If You Know Something…

Justice is still to be found for little Joseph. There is a $20,000 reward for information relating to a charge and potential conviction of the perpetrator of this crime. Please call 215-686-TIPS(8477).


Previous Case Coverage

Click these links to read our previous coverage of this case.

Unsolved: America’s Unknown Child Update 07.01.20

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America’s Unknown Child



6ABC – Boy in the Box Identified

Danielle M. Outlaw Twitter – Today after 65 years…

Inqurier.com – Boy in the Box Named

The New York Times – Boy in the Box Homicide


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