Philadelphia’s Police Department Finally Solves Its Oldest Homicide Case

Lauren Frances Dulatre

On December 9th, Philadelphia Police Department finally identified the ‘Boy in the Box’.

For more than 60 years, Philadelphia’s Police Department has been trying to figure out the true identity of the ‘Boy in the Box’. The boy was found in a cardboard box wrapped in a blanket on the side of Susquehanna road. 

When taken in, the department said he ‘had multiple bruises on his body’ and his hair had been ‘crudely cut close to the scalp’. They also said that the boy was between the ages of 4 and  6 years old. The multiple injuries that he had sustained amounted to blunt force trauma.

Due to the technology 60 years ago, the department was not able to identify the boy. They posted the boy’s headshots in the newspapers and posted a missing poster on multiple buildings, stores, and gas stations. No one came forward about knowing the unidentified boy, so he remained unknown since 1957.

“Joseph Augustus Zarelli will no longer be the boy in the box, and will no longer be unknown.” said Bill Fletcher from the Vidocq Society.

For the longest time, this case has remained one of the city’s oldest homicides. Luckily with modern technology, the department was able to identify the boy’s birth records and birth mother. The boy was identified as Joseph Augustus Zarelli. As for the killer, the department is still working on it, but they do have their suspicions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s