The body of Philadelphia’s “Box Boy” has been identified 65 years after it was found beaten and wrapped in a blanket.


Philadelphia’s “box boy” has been identified as 4-year-old Joseph Augustus Zarelli, 65 years after he was found beaten and wrapped in a blanket.

Police provided an update on the decade-old cold case in a press release Thursday. The boy’s parents are not being identified out of respect for their living siblings, according to Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith.

At this time, investigators only have “suspicions” about who is responsible for Zarelli’s murder, which they are not talking about because the homicide is an active investigation.

On February 25, 1957, Joseph was found severely beaten and wrapped in a blanket in a wooded area in the Fox Chase neighborhood. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said she “went through horrors that no one, no one should have to go through.”

Idaho police may use genetic genealogy to investigate college student murders, expert says

No one has come forward to claim the child.

The cause of death is believed to be blunt force trauma. Police say they may never make an arrest or determine who is responsible, but they will try.

BABY HOLLY CASE: Genetic genealogist who helped ID kill TEXAS couple explains how he cracked the case.

The 1957 murder of a young boy known as ‘The Boy in the Box’ has been a mystery for decades, but now police have revealed his identity.
(Philadelphia Police Department)

Zarelli’s parents are both deceased, authorities said.

Countless professionals in law, medicine, and other fields have worked for six decades. Zarelli’s birth certificate was discovered after his birth mother was identified. His biological father is listed on the certificate and is connected to the child’s paternal relatives.

Philadelphia police have revealed the identity of the ‘Box in a Box’ found in 1957.

Investigators say a Social Security number was never issued for Zarelli, who was born Jan. 13, 1953.

Authorities hope the technology used to identify Zarelli will help them solve other crimes.

Related Articles

Latest Posts