Genealogist who helped identify ‘Boy in the Box’ visits grave, seeks justice for child

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A haunting mystery, now partially solved. The “Boy in the Box” was identified as Joseph Augustus Zarelli thanks to the tireless work of detectives and genealogists.

“I have known about this case since I was a child. I’ve pursued and been interested in true crimes…” said Misty Gillis, a forensic genealogist at Identifiers International.

Gillis is a forensic genealogist at Identifiers International and has spent the last three years naming the face of “America’s Unknown Child”.

RELATED: Philadelphia Police Identifies Child Known as ‘Boy in the Box’ as Joseph Augustus Zarelli

She and her two young daughters visited Joseph’s grave on Thursday to bring him toy cars from the 1950s.

“It was very personal to me because I have young children the same age as Joseph,” Gillis said.

Now that his name has been restored, she said it’s time his story, traumatic as it is, is exposed.

“I want his story to be told. I want to take it out into the world to do him justice,” Gillis said.

Ivy Hill Cemetery officials said there are plans to inscribe Joseph’s name on his headstone. There was no immediate word of a date or time.

RELATED: ‘Give him some dignity’: Bucks police chief recalls working on ‘Boy in the Box’ case

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