DNA Identifies Philadelphia’s ‘Boy in the Box’

Law enforcement has identified the victim in Philadelphia’s oldest unsolved homicide, a case known as “the boy in the box,” who died in 1957, ABC News reports.

On Feb. 25, 1957, a young boy was found dead inside a box in northeast Philadelphia. He had been severely beaten and emaciated, with officials estimating his age as between 4 and 6 years old. Thanks to DNA testing of possible relatives, police have identified the victim as Joseph Augustus Zarelli, who was born on Jan. 13, 1953.

“We have our suspicions as to who may be responsible, but it would be irresponsible of me to share these suspicions,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said at a press conference, noting that the case remains open.

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