One of the longest unsolved homicides in Philadelphia history took a major step forward Wednesday, Dec. 8, when Philadelphia police identified the child known as the “boy in the box” as Joseph Augustus Zarelli, believed to be from West Philadelphia, reports 6ABC staff.
Joseph Zarelli was born on Jan. 13, 1953. His body was found in a cardboard box in Fox Chase by Susquehanna Road back in 1957.
The boy was nude, malnourished, and fatally beaten, according to Philadelphia Captain John Smith who led today’s press conference.
“This announcement only closes one chapter in this little boy’s story while opening up a new one. This is still an active homicide investigation and we still need the public’s help in filling in this child’s life story,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
Modern forensic techniques helped determine Zarelli’s identity. Information on Zarelli’s parents remains confidential out of respect to his siblings, who are still living, Smith said.
Police still do not know who Is responsible for the child’s death.
“We have our suspicions as to who may be responsible but it would be irresponsible of me to share these suspicious as this remains an ongoing and active criminal investigation,” Smith said.
Read more about the latest on Joseph Zarelli at 6ABC.