Obituary News: Where is Zarelli Family Philadelphia? “America’s Unknown Child” identified as Joseph Augustus Zarelli
According to Philadelphia police, Joseph Augustus Zarelli has been identified as “The Boy in the Box.”
The police’s Thursday disclosure of Zarelli’s name shed new insight on a mystery that has perplexed the public and detectives for years while also addressing decades-old suspicions about his identity.
The case, according to Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, is the oldest unsolved homicide in Philadelphia.
Outlaw noted that countless police officers, detectives, geneticists, and medical professionals worked the case that had “haunted” the city and the nation, but that “no one ever came forward to claim the child.”
Today, after 65 years, America’s Unknown Child’s name was finally restored. I want to thank all who have worked tirelessly since 1957 to give Joseph Augustus Zarelli his voice back. However, the search for justice continues. If you have any information on his homicide, please…
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) December 8, 2022
“His entire identity and his rightful claim to own his existence was taken away,” Outlaw said. She added that she hopes no one will never again have to wait this long for justice, and honored the detectives who worked the case and did not live to see this development.
“This announcement only closes one chapter in this little boy’s story, while opening up a new one,” said Outlaw.
Police identified the boy after conducting a DNA investigation.
The case has continued to be covered by CBS3 on television and online. The news that the youngster had been ultimately identified by the authorities was first reported by CBS3 Investigations last week.
Zarelli was killed, according to the police, and they have some theories about who did it, but they do not yet have any suspect information to share.
According to police, Zarelli has living relatives.
Even though “many of these men and women aren’t with us longer,” William Fleisher of the Vidocq Society, which assisted in the case’s investigation, claimed to have felt their presence in the room.
Zarelli was never reported missing, according to police captain Jason Smith, and they think she was from West Philadelphia, close to 61st and Market streets.
He believes that someone out there who knows Zarelli may have seen him. Smith suggested that it might be a neighbor.