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Unsolved Case Of The Boy in the Box

Known also as “America’s Unknown Child”, the “Boy in the Box” murder has gone unsolved since the finding of his corpse on 25 February 1957.

On that disastrous day, an afraid college student, Frederick Benosis, reported discovering the naked body of what seemed to be a young boy, 4 to 6 years old, bandaged in a flannel blanket inside a discarded baby’s bassinet cardboard box published by the JC Penny store.

The Photo Below Is Of The Boy in the Box

Boy in the Box : Unsolved Mysteries
Credit: Sites Edu

This wasn’t the first finding of the boy. Two days before, a young man sighted the body when he was checking on his muskrat traps in this pastoral area. Knowing his muskrat traps were unlawful, he decided against notifying the police. It was only a few days later that Benosis came across the corpse. He waited the following day before reaching the authorities because he was in the region spying on young women at the Good Shepherd School and was nervous about telling the police why he was there.

Local media was fixated on this case. Images of the young boy were plastered everywhere, including aerialist and gas bills for the Philadelphia customers.

The boy’s individuality has never been determined and the case has yet to be solved. The boy was interpreted as having blue eyes, a fair complexion and medium to light brown crudely cut hair. His nails were remarked as being neatly trimmed. He had deep grazes covering much of his corpse and face and specialists assume that due to the cold weather, the kid may have been lying in that box between 2-3 days to 2 to 3 weeks.

Initial feelings were promising, as police were certain that someone would report a missing kid or that his photograph dispersed throughout the region would lead to the identity of the kid and the killer. But this never happened. Nobody reported a missing child that fit his explanation and the thousands of cues produced came to a dead end.

Unsolved Killing Of Boy in the Box

Philadelphia police department leaflet bidding data on the unsolved killing of the Boy in the Box.
Investigators concentrated on the baby bassinet box that the boy was discovered in. It was one of 12 sold by a JC Penny store in Upper Darby. All but one were traced back to their holders. Even the boy’s fingerprints and footprints came up negative when they were correlated to a national database and regional hospital records.

The Evidence

The boy’s hair was crudely cut and found throughout his body, implying it was cut while he was deceased and nude or shortly before he perished.
His hands and feet were wrinkled implying they were immersed in water for an extended time just before or after he perished.
The child may have had a chronic eye ailment.
He had not consumed 2-3 hours before demise.
The faded inexpensive flannel blanket he was wrapped in was prepared in either North Carolina or Quebec, Canada. It was also massed produced and exported to multiple locations.
His oesophagus comprised a dark, brown residue, possibly demonstrating he vomited shortly before death.
He was hardly malnourished.
The reason for death was numerous blows to the head.
The boy was laid to rest in a potters field next to Mechanicsville and Dunks Ferry Rd, the tombstone simply read “Heavenly Father, Bless This Unknown Boy”. Ultimately, the boy’s corpse was exhumed in 1998 and mitochondrial DNA was extracted from his tooth. Actions are currently underway to correlate this child to a relative by searching it through a database. Nonetheless, the mitochondrial DNA progression is too small to produce a definitive match with anyone.


On 11 November 1998, the boy was reburied in a donated coffin at the Ivy Hill cemetery and a website was inaugurated to keep this boy’s memory alive and to help produce new leads.
The likelihood of this 53-year-old crime being solved is rapidly disappearing. The case remains open in name only. The police officers and detectives who attempted to keep this case moving forward are expiring. Or too old to proceed to pursue the occasional lead that comes their way.

Opportunities are that the individual or individuals who murdered this young boy have since perished and will never face justice for their crime.

Professionals agree that if this case happened 10 or 20 years ago, the crime most likely would have been solved. In 1957, police departments did not communicate or share information outside of their regional areas. Media coverage was also restricted to the Pennsylvania/Delaware area. In today’s age, this case would have been national news. The data about this case would have been accessible to all city and federal law enforcement agencies.

Nonetheless, hope stays as Court TV, 48 Hours and America’s Most Wanted have underlined this case in recent episodes. Maybe the guide everyone has been waiting for will present itself.


Frederick Benosis who was spying on young wayward girls was originally believed to as a suspect. But he was interviewed and cleared via a lie detector test.
A foster home located about 1.5 miles from the crime spectacle was the first area police officers liked to check. 8 foster kids were inhabiting there at the time. All the kids found at the foster home were checked out and the family was ruled out. Belief still exists that Arthur Nicoletti, who ran this foster home, is somehow involved. He declined to take a lie detector test. And a psychic hired to help in this inquiry led investigators instantly to the foster home (without ever visiting the area first).
The biggest lead arose in May 2002, when a businesswoman (known as “M”) from Cincinnati, OH, contended her mother bought the boy from his parents in 1954. They named the boy Jonathan. He was regularly abused and housed in the basement. He was interpreted as being handicapped and could not speak.

“M” claimed her mother murdered him in February 1957 in a fit of anger by throwing him down on the floor after he vomited in the bathtub after consuming baked beans. Operatives thought this was the key they were looking for to eventually solve the case. Nonetheless, after six months of trying to substantiate her story, it was inferred that “M” had a history of mental problems and none of the data she passed could be proven.

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