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

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

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This case is not NSFW and includes information relating to sexual abuse and violence against a child

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

Case Background

25th February 1957 in a wooded area of Northeast Philadelphia’s Fox Chase neighbourhood, which was situated near the intersection of Verree and Susquehanna Road, close to Pennypack Park. A student in his junior year at La Salle University made the call to the authorities describing something that would shock all that were involved for the rest of their lives.

The student had allegedly been checking muskrat and rabbit traps in the woods near Susquehanna Road which had been used an illegal dumping ground. It was covered with trash and old, broken household and outdoor appliances. Amongst the rubbish was a small box containing the body of a little boy. When the student originally saw the box, he thought there was a doll sticking out of it, but upon further investigation, he released it was the body of a child.

At first, the boy didn’t report the body and left the abandoned child in the box where he found him. He waited a full day before he reported what he had found to the local police department, allegedly scared the police would take away his traps.

He wasn’t the only one, another man, a student at La Salle University had come across the body of the little boy and failed to report it to the police stating that he didn’t want to get involved.

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: America’s Unknown Child
Fredrick Benonis, 1957

Fredrick Benonis originally told police he saw a bunny rabbit run into the bushes, so he stopped his car to look for it and it was there he saw the body. It turns out, however, that had parked his car off Susquehanna Road and was making his way across the vacant lot to spy on the inmates at Good Shepherd Home which was a Catholic institution for ‘wayward girls’. Due to this, he decided it was best to avoid telling the police for 24 hours. He allegedly confessed to a priest the next day who passed on the information to the police department.

On 26th February 1957, Detective Elmer Palmer of the Philadelphia Police Department drove through the pouring rain to meet the student (Fredrick Benonis) at the scene of the discovery and was able to confirm that the box didn’t contain a doll, but the body of a small child. The box itself was meant for a white bassinet (cot) which could be bought at any J.C. Penney stores in the USA.

The little boy’s body was wrapped in a blanket but other than that he was nude, his head and shoulders poking out of the box. His arms had been gently folded over his chest; the blanket wrapped tightly around him as if to keep him warm.

He had been dead for several days to a couple of weeks when he was found. The weather, unlike the case of Baby Doe of Opelika, was able to preserve the little boy’s body as it was in the low 20’s during the winter of Philadelphia which is known to get quite a heavy downpour of snow.

Autopsy Report

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: Wikipedia
UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: America’s Unknown Child Dr Joseph Spelman

Autopsy Completed by Dr. Joseph Spelman, Philadelphia’s Chief Medical Examiner at the time.

Name: Unidentified John Doe

Age: Between 4 to 6 years’ old

Race: Caucasian

Sex: Male

Height: 3ft or 40.5 inches

Weight: 2.14st or 30lbs

Hair colour: Light blonde

Eye colour: Blue

Identifying characteristics: L shaped scar on his chin, 1-inch surgical scar to the left of his chest, a round and irregular scar on the left elbow (size not stated), a well-healed surgical scar on his groin area which could have been from surgery for a hernia, and a scar on his left ankle that resembled an incision (cut down incision) used to expose a vein for a blood transfusion. His penis was circumcised. There were three small moles on the left side of his face, a tiny mole below the right ear, three small ones on the right side of the chest, a large mole on the right arm two inches above the wrist and in line with his little finger. The little boy had a full set of baby teeth, his front teeth were slightly buck-toothed. There was no sign of his tonsils having been removed.

Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head

His hair had been cropped short, but there were lumps of hair found on his body which led the coroner to believe his hair had been shorn short to a bad buzz cut recently.

The coroner stated due to undernourishment he was hitting the measurements of a 2-year-old child, instead of the 4 to 6-year-old child, the coroner thought he might have been. Further X-Rays were undertaken and proved that AUC was underweight, and arrested growth due to malnutrition. There was no evidence of any broken bones either fresh or previously healed.

His lips were dry and cracked, he was visibly emaciated to the point his ribs were poking through his skin, and he had sores around his eyes. He was covered in fresh bruises both on his face and body. He held no vaccination marks so it was believed he had not been vaccinated which also lead police and the coroner to believe he had not been enrolled in school as children were to be vaccinated before attending school. There are photographs of AUC’s body available online, but due to the shocking and sad state of his little body, we have chosen not to include them in this post. 

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: Find a Grave

He had also been washed or bathed just before his death, his tiny hands and feet were still wrinkled. This conclusion was drawn as his hands, feet and body had shown signs they had been submerged in water for a long period of time. It wasn’t confirmed whether this was before or after his death. No water was found in his lungs from the information we have gathered, but once we are in receipt of the full autopsy report we can clarify this.

The little boy suffered from a chronic eye ailment which could have been the reasons for the sores around his eyes, but the coroner did not confirm which eye ailment this may have been. However, he noted that when AUC’s left eye was exposed to ultraviolet light it became a fluorescent shade of bright blue which indicated recent exposure to a dye used to diagnose the treatment of eye disease.

His stomach contents identified that he had eaten two to three hours before his death. His oesophagus held a dark brown unidentified residue which was thought to have been vomit. During his autopsy, Dr. Spelman took samples of blood, hair, gastric contents, bodily fluids (saliva for example), and tissue samples from his heart, lungs, and liver which were sent to toxicology for analysis and examination. There was no information released on any of the results, other than the stomach contents being bile/vomit.

The coroner confirmed that the cause of the little boy’s death was blunt force trauma to his head. He was unable to accurately give the time of death as the cold weather had preserved the little boy’s body very well. However, it was guessed it could have been anything from three days to two weeks.

The photographs were released to the public in the hopes that a parent or guardian would come forward, recognising the boy as their own or that they knew who he belonged to. The coroner even dressed the little boy and sat him up in a chair thinking that it would make him more lifelike.

Visitors from up to 10 different states tried to identify the boy by looking for different, significant marks that would identify him as one of their own. However, the little boy remained nameless with no one claiming his tiny, shattered, little body.

Police Search

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Photo by Matthias Kinsella on Unsplash

The police even sent four hundred thousand fliers with images of the little boy to police stations, post offices, courthouses all over America. The American Medical Association also sent out a description of the little boy, including details on his surgical scars but again, no one came to claim him.

They also used 270 police academy recruits to comb the area where AUC had been discovered.

Police took the little boy’s fingerprints and footprints in the hopes that when they went around hospitals, they would be able to use those to identify the little boy. There was no record of him at any hospital’s they tried. This could be due to him not being from the area, or that he didn’t attend hospitals the scars from surgery could have been a surgery that had been done at home. We don’t know who this little boy is, so it’s highly plausible he had a parent that was a surgeon or came from another state.

The FBI also became involved and a law enforcement bulletin was released throughout the US states. Orphanages, doctors’ surgeries and dental facilities were contacted all over the country, but not a single person recognised the little boy or had any information about the child.

The police even circulated the photo of AUC sitting upright, fully clothed and hoped that this would help identify him, but every single time they came up empty-handed. There was no record of him anywhere, no missing person’s report that would identify him and no one claiming him as their own.

Evidence

There were several items of evidence found with or close to the small, frail body of AUC. No usable fingerprints were found at the scene.

Cardboard Box

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: The Sun Newspaper
UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: America’s Unknown Child

The box the little boy was found in from J C Penny’s still had the serial number with shipment details on it which included the address of the J C Penney’s the bassinet was purchased from. The police were able to track the J C Penny’s store around 15 miles away from where the little boy was found. The shipment had contained only 12 boxes with bassinets in them. The police stumbled across a problem as all the individuals that had purchased the bassinets from that shipment in the J C Penny’s had paid in cash which left no record of the individuals that had purchased them.

The shipment had been received on 27th November 1956 and sold for around $7.50 between 3rd December 1956 and 16th February 1957 from J C Penny’s in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

When the police reported this to the media, eight people came forward to let them know that they had purchased bassinets from the J C Penny store. Some of the individuals still had the boxes and others had thrown them in the trash.

The police were able to determine that the exact box the boy was found in had been shipped to the Upper Darby J C Penny’s in Pennsylvania.

Blanket

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

The blanket (pictured) was examined by a Philadelphia Textile Institute and it was believed the blanket was made in Granby, Quebec, Canada or in Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA. However, there was no way to tell where the blanket was purchased since there had been thousands upon thousands of the blankets made and shipped across the US and Canada.

The blanket was made with cheap cotton flannel, one noticeable piece of information about the blanket was that it had been mended using a poor grade cotton thread. The blanket had also recently been laundered.

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

The Hat

There was a hat found 15 feet away from the box, it was known to be a blue corduroy Ivy League style cap in US size 7 1/8th. It was made by Robbins Eagle Hat & Cap Company and had the label still attached. The cap had a distinguished leather strap and buckle on it. It turned out that this was a small company that was run by a lady named Hannah Robbins whose store was in South Philadelphia. It just so happened that Hannah Robbins remembered the man who had purchased the hat as she had customised the hat for him.

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: America’s Unknown Child
What the cap was said to have looked like

She told authorities that the cap had been made from remnants of corduroy at some point prior to May 1956. The individual that bought the cap had returned several months later to have the leather strap and buckle sewed onto the cap by Mrs. Robbins.

The man was said to be blond-haired, and in his late twenties to early thirties. Mrs. Robbins thought that the man looked like the photographs authorities had shown her of AUC. The man has never been identified, nor has there been any kind of sketch of the man done. There are also no photographs of the blue cap which has been unhelpful in identifying the owner.

Hairs

The hairs found on the little boy were long in length, this led a forensic artist named, Frank Bender, to believe it could have been possible that he was dressed or raised as a little girl. One investigator named, Bill Kelley, remembers that in 1957 – 1958 a West Coast artist did draw an image of what AUC would have looked like with long hair. Again, this didn’t bring the investigators any further to finding out who AUC was, or where he came from.

Possible Unrelated Evidence

There was also a child’s scarf (colour not specified), a child-sized yellow flannel shirt in US size four which would have been the size the little boy may have worn. There was a handkerchief that had some short strands of hair clinging to it with the initial G embroidered on it (colour, make or shape not specified). The handkerchief was clean despite the dark and debris in the area. The hairs were tested against the hairs from AUC’s body, the results of the test were negative and no further information on who the handkerchief may have belonged to was ever disclosed.

A pair of black child’s shoes in US size one was found near the spot where AUC was discovered. The shoes were clean but made of cheap materials. They were in good shape despite being children’s shoes and at the time were said to be significant as they were clean despite the muddy around the body was found. One shoe was found on the same size as Susquehanna Road where the body was found, and the other shoe was around 10 feet south of the body. However, the shoes were too large when tried on the little boy, his shoe size was said to have been US size 8 D.

This evidence was only stated in one article we researched and until we receive the information we have requested from the FBI and Philadelphia Police Department we will be unable to confirm if this was found near the body, or was just part of the illegal dumping grounds trash.

Possible Suspects

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Hannah described the man as blond-haired, between the ages of 26 to 30 years old. He paid in cash and he never returned to the store after his original purchase.

There is no information on the colour of the man’s eyes, his body type, height or weight. Nor was there any information on accent, if he was local or foreign, or the type of clothing he was wearing when he went to purchase the hat.

The police took photos of the hats and visited over 100 stores in the area, showing each staff member in the store the hat and asking if they recognised it, or the man that Hannah had described. They also showed photos of the little boy, but no one knew who the little boy or the man was, and no one recognised the hat.

Fredrick Benonis was also questioned, he was the second person that discovered AUC in the box, but he was soon cleared and released without charge.

A man named Charles originally claimed the little boy was his son. Charles lived in Camden, New Jersey and told authorities his son’s name was Terry Lee. A further nine people came forward claiming that the little boy was in fact, Terry Lee. These individuals were some of the people that gone to the morgue to identify the little boy.

However, Terry Lee’s mother was found and the authorities asked her to go to the morgue and look at AUC’s body. She confirmed it was not her son, but the police seemingly didn’t believe her and brought in her parents who couldn’t decide whether it was Charles or not.

Charles had disappeared just days before the discovery of the body of AUC with his son. Charles was eventually hunted down with his son, Terry. Terry was alive and well, he was also 8-years-old so Charles was eventually ruled out as a suspect and Terry was returned home.

Let’s not forget the vile Dudley’s which we have mentioned below.

Rumours/Theories

There were a few main rumours/theories that popped up during the investigation.

Rented Accommodation

The first theory was discovered by Jim Hoffman author of The Boy in the Box: America’s Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America’s Greatest Crime, who came across a man from Philadelphia that said his family once rented out a place to a man who sold his son. This led to a pathologist, Dr. Greg McDonald, looking at photos of the father who had apparently sold his son. Dr. McDonald noted that there were similarities between the two, but there would need to be further testing done.

Dr. McDonald noted that the facial structure, helix of right ear and nose were similar. A DNA sample was taken from a young man believed to be the brother of the child sold. There is no further information on whether this led to any identification.

“We’ll investigate further.” Sergeant Kuhlmeier, Philadelphia Police Department, 2016

Remington Bristow

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: America’s Unknown Child
Remington Bristow

Medical Examiner (ME) Remington Bristow became obsessed with the case of AUC and spent thousands of dollars, countless hours and 36 years of his life investigating the case. He gathered newspaper clippings, travelled to Arizona and Texas chasing up leads. He even consulted a psychic named Florence Sternfeld from New Jersey that held staples from the J C Penney box AUC was found in. The psychic allegedly told Remington to look for a home that matched the foster home 1.5 miles away from the dumping site.  Remington even had a mask of AUC’s face which he carried around in his briefcase which he would show to individuals, asking if they recognised the boy.

Bristow believed the boy was accidentally killed, his freshly cut hair and nails led him to believe the boy was well taken care of. This should be taken with a grain of salt, a common misconception is that just because a child looks clean and tidy, doesn’t mean they aren’t being abused physically or emotionally.

Bristow also believed the family didn’t want to come forward because they would be charged with murder and preventing the lawful burial of the body.

Foster Family

Some stories and articles suggest that the psychic was the one that told Bristow about the foster family. Some articles state that there was a man and woman who had turned a mansion into a foster home and that this is where the little boy came from. Bristow went to several foster homes matching this description before he stumbled upon the one, he thought was the correct mansion that the psychic told him about.

Bristow investigated a foster family that lived around 1.5 miles from the dumping site of AUC. The family had already been interviewed by the police. In 1961 the estate was up for sale and Bristow stumbled upon a white bassinet that he believed could have been stowed away in the J C Penney box that AUC was found in. He also found several blankets hanging on a clothesline that was reminiscent of the blanket that AUC was wrapped in. Bristow suspected the little boy had lived in the foster home and had been killed by someone in the home either intentionally or accidentally.

He then began to theorise that AUC could have been an illegitimate child of the daughter of the foster family and that she abandoned the child so she wouldn’t be revealed as a single mother.

Bristow died in 1993 not knowing what happened to AUC or who he belonged to. However, Detective Tom Augustine took up the case soon after and picked up directly where Bristow had left off. In 1998, Detective Augustine and several members of Viqocq Society (which is a retired group of policemen and profilers), went to the home of a man named Arthur Nicoletti. Arthur was the man that led the foster home. His wife, Anna Marie, was the woman that was the mother of AUC.

Turns out, Bristow was right about Anna Marie having an illegitimate child, not only that, but Anna Marie was the stepdaughter of Arthur Nicoletti, not just his wife. Anna Marie told Augustine that she did have a little boy who had passed away in an odd way. Her son had been electrocuted by a nickel ride outside a store.

DNA was taken from both Anna Marie and her stepfather/husband which ruled out any relation to AUC. This isn’t to say, however, that AUC was once a foster child at the home, either having been paid for by the two or fostered by them through the social services system. With that being said, it’s unlikely if he was a “foster child” of the couple, that it went through social services are given that there is no evidence of AUC having existed.

Son of a Carni? The Dudley’s

Kenneth Dudley and his wife Adelle ‘Irene’ Dudley had 10 children together. Kenneth was a carnival worker, and in 1961 an investigation was launched into the family when their 7-year-old daughter turned up dead from malnutrition and neglect. They didn’t bury her, instead, they wrapped her in a blanket and placed her in the woods just off Route 1, near Lawrenceville, Virginia. The child had passed away on 27th May 1960 in Gary, West Virginia. In fact, not a single child they murdered was given a proper burial by them, they were all dumped or thrown in rivers.

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: Historic Images
The Vile Dudley’s

In total, the Dudley’s killed 7 of their children through neglect and abuse. Kenneth was said to have beaten the children in fits of anger over little things. Irene was also known to abuse and neglect the children. It’s not known what happened to the other 3 children they had, nor is it known what happened to the Dudley’s after the trial. They were ruled out as the parents of AUC, as the bodies of their 7 children were recovered.

Cincinnati, Ohio Psychiatrist and Martha

The final theory comes from a psychiatrist from Cincinnati, Ohio. The psychiatrist contacted Detective Augustine and told him that one of her patients, who has never been named and is often known as “M” or “Martha”, had insisted on speaking to the police.

Martha had told her psychiatrist that when she was 11 years of age her mother took her to a house where she handed an envelope of money over for a little boy to a man. Martha had been sexually abused by her mother and the mother had purchased the little boy to do the same to him. Martha stated that this had happened in 1954 and her mother had sexually, psychologically and physically abused the little boy right up until his death.

She told her psychiatrist that he was around 3 years old when he was purchased from his family in the summer of 1954. He was forced to live in the basement, he was only fed every so often to keep him alive so he could subject further abuse from the mother.

Martha told her psychiatrist that the little boy had been killed after her mother had beat him to death by slamming his head and body against the floor after he vomited up baked beans after dinner one night. The mother put him in the bathtub whilst he was unconscious to clean him up, and whilst he was in there he passed away from his horrific injuries.

Martha spoke to Detective Tom Augustine, Detective Joseph McQuillan and Detective Kelly McGill and repeated her story. All three detectives were convinced the boy Martha was talking about was AUC. She told the detectives the little boy’s name was Jonathan. Martha explained that Jonathan’s hair had been cut after death as it was the most distinctive thing about him. He had beautiful, long hair and Martha’s mother wanted to conceal his identity so shorn it off. Sickeningly enough, the mother seems to have achieved this, if Jonathan is in fact, AUC.

After his death, Martha’s mother drove her and the body of the little boy to Philadelphia to abandon him. Whilst there, Martha claimed that she was forced to help to dispose of the body, they had pulled off along the side of a country road and as they were about to remove him from the trunk a man pulled over beside them. He had been driving by and asked if they needed any help, assuming they were having car troubles.

Martha’s mother instructed her to stand in front of the license plate so he couldn’t read it and not to speak directly to him. After being told he wasn’t required, the man drove away. The police seemingly confirmed a man had come forward and gave a similar account. However, he mistook Martha for a boy.

Despite all of this, however, Martha had a history of mental health problems, no corroborating evidence to back up the story and outright denials from previous neighbours of Martha’s who claimed they visited the home frequently and saw no sign of the boy (admin is internally screaming writing this part), the detectives dropped the lead.

Bill Fleischer, a former FBI agent that has now retired, adds up to the testimonies, addresses, descriptions that were all involved in the case and that it is a strong theory. However, even with Martha’s lead they couldn’t 100% confirm if UAC was the little boy Martha was talking about.

There were other theories thrown around backing up the theory that AUC was being raised as a little girl. The surgical scar on the groin, the long hair, his eyes had been tweezed to appear more feminine. It’s said this would be why the neighbours didn’t see a little boy running around, however, if this was the case wouldn’t the neighbours have mentioned to the police that there was another little girl in the home? Martha’s mother may have passed this off as her daughter’s friend.

Memphis Connection

In 2016, not long after the 59th anniversary of AUC’s discovery writers Lou Romano and Jim Hoffmann thought they had discovered a possible link to Memphis, Tennessee and asked that DNA from AUC was compared between the family members they had found in Memphis. This lead was not their own, however, it came from a man in Philadelphia but both writers had developed this into a lead and submitted it to the Philadelphia Police Department and Vidocq Society in 2013.

In December 2013, Romano helped the man from Philadelphia hunt down the family member and personally obtain DNA from suspected family members in Memphis in January 2014. The local authorities said they would need to do more in-depth research on the circumstances surrounding the link to Memphis before they submitted the DNA for comparison in their labs. There has been no further information on whether or not the DNA was submitted, nor if the DNA submitted has been compared to the family in Memphis. We have contacted the Philadelphia Police Department for further information and submitted an FOIA request.

Strawberry Mansion Flats and the Barber

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

A barber from the local area stated that he had cut the little boy’s hair just a week before his body was found. The little boy had come into the barbershop with his big brother, he had no visible bruises when he was there and left with his brother totally unharmed. The barber had stated the little boy lived in Strawberry Manor, but when the police investigated this there was no evidence linking the little boy to AUC. There is very little information on this theory, no information on whether there was a little boy living in Strawberry Manor that looked like AUC or if there was an elder brother there.

No Information Despite 100,000’s of Flyers

Not only did the Philadelphia police circulate over 10,000 flyers, but Philadelphia Gas Works mailed out 200,000 flyers to their customers with their bills. The Philadelphia Electric Company also mailed out flyers, and the FBI also had the article on their Law Enforcement Bulletin. All flyers had the picture of AUC with contact details asking that any witnesses or tips contact the Philadelphia Police Department or FBI in order to help identify the beautiful little boy.

John Walsh, victims’ rights and missing children advocate with personal experience in the case of a murdered child after his 6-year-old son, Adam, was abducted from a mall in Florida 1981 and murdered by the serial killer, Ottis Toole. John Walsh helped to form NCMEC and created and hosts America’s Most Wanted (highly recommended show which can be found on YouTube – admin), covered AUC’s case on America’s Most Wanted TV show which aired in October 1998 to help raise more awareness. This garnered 150 new tips and led to the creation of America’s Unknown Child website which is the most informative and helpful site you will find on this case.

Exhumation

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

On 3rd November 1988 AUC’s body was exhumed in order to extract further DNA in the hopes that modern technology would shed some light on his case. The DNA was extracted from a remaining tooth. However, despite further testing, there was no further information and no further leads. The exhumation caused controversy at the time with many disagreeing with the little one’s exhumation.

Facial Reconstructions

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

There have been several facial reconstructions undertaken. The most recent one was on 21st March 2016, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) released a newer facial reconstruction of the little boy and added this to their database showing what he would look like now, in his 50’s.

Barbara Rae-Venter a genetic genealogist who is also a retired patent attorney that is probably best known for her work in cracking the Golden State Killer case is working to try and identify AUC with the help of the DNA they still hold and there is hope that AUC’s DNA will hit against a familial match. We’ll update when we know more.

America’s Unknown Child’s Resting Place

UNSOLVED COLD CASE MURDER: The Boy in the Box/America's Unknown Child
Image Credit: Find a Grave

Originally, on 24th January 1958 just under a year after the little boy had been found, he was led to rest in a potter’s field. His funeral was paid for by various detectives whose hearts he had touched. The gravestone (pictured) simply stated

“Heavenly Father bless this Unknown Boy. February 25th, 1957.”

On 11th November 1988 AUC was led to rest once more by the son of the man that originally buried him in 1957, his name is still a mystery. This beautiful little boy is now resting in Ivy Hill cemetery, Cedarbrook, Philadelphia. He was given a brand-new donated plot with a beautiful headstone (pictured).

To this day his grave is visited, flowers left, and prayers said for the little one.

Further Reading on the Case

There are several books that have been published in the case that we highly recommend you read if this case is of interest to you. Please note these links are NOT affiliated links:

Boy in the Box: The Unsolved Case of America’s Unknown Child by David Stout

The Boy in the Box: America’s Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America’s Greatest Crime by Jim Hoffmann

Special Thanks

We wanted to say a huge thank you to America’s Unknown Child website where there is even more information on the case which includes a lot more theories and further information on the people who have made it their life mission to work to identify this little boy. We highly recommend paying a visit to the site and letting them know we sent you. We got more information from that site than we did on any of the articles available online. Click here to visit the site, we have also included the site in the references section.

References

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

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