Crime History: 'Boy in Box' stumps America's detectives

Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, Feb. 25, in 1957, a college student in Philadelphia stumbled across the body of a young child, a discovery that attracted national attention and became known as the "Boy in the Box" mystery.

The child, estimated to be between 4 and 6 years old, was first found naked and battered in a cardboard J.C. Penney box in an empty lot by a young man checking his muskrat traps. A couple days later, a college student found the body and reported it to police the next day.

The case grabbed national media attention. Investigators placed pictures of the boy in every utility bill in Philadelphia.

Despite the publicity and the efforts of homicide detectives, the FBI and the Vidocq Society, a group of retired policemen and profilers, the identity remains unknown.

In 1998, the boys remains were exhumed to extract DNA samples, and the boy was reburied as "America's Unknown Child."

- Scott McCabe

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