PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia investigators will provide an update on one of the city’s most famous unsolved mysteries on Thursday.
Police say through detective work and DNA analysis, officers have finally identified the child known as the “boy in the box.”
The little boy’s body was found in a cardboard box on the edge of Susquehanna Road in Fox Chase in 1957. The boy was naked, malnourished and mortally beaten.
His remains had never been identified before. The case remains Philadelphia’s oldest unsolved murder.
Bill Kelly took the young victim’s fingerprints at the crime scene in 1957. His family say he never stopped trying to find out the boy’s identity or the attacker until his death.
“He was one of the first on the scene on that fateful day. He never forgot this picture. I mean how could you? he closed his eyes in thought, he saw that,” said Kelly’s granddaughter Jessica Greene, who knew him as Pop-Pop.
“I thought my dad would be so happy…so happy,” said Kathleen Kelly Greene, Jessica’s mother.
When word broke last week that Philadelphia police would be holding a press conference to reveal the boy’s identity, it sent shock waves through the community. It hit the children of the people who worked the case and had hoped to see a solution in their lifetime.
Kym Durham is a South Jersey psychic medium. She has assisted law enforcement in missing persons and murder cases. Her gift, as she describes it, was passed on by her mother, internationally renowned medium Joan Friel Durham.
Joan Durham even received an award from the Vidocq Society, the renowned law enforcement group tasked with solving cold cases, including the “Boy in the Box.” Joan has since passed away, but her daughter recalls her mother receiving a call in the ’80s to help with the now 65-year-old cold case.
“She’s been talking about this person having a man, she’s been talking about the nose,” Kym said of a man her mother described as someone who was involved.
Independently of each other, both Bill Kelly and Joan Durham gave the victim a name. Kelly called him Jonathan; Durham called him Johnny.
Both families say they are happy to see an update on the case.
“So I think it’s important as a family that not just us, but America’s unknown boy reveals that identity. But now that his ID comes to the fore, we can piece together some of the theories they’ve had in the past,” Jessica Green said.
Sources tell Action News the break came from DNA collected through genealogical research, and investigators on Thursday will only reveal the boy’s identity. The case is still unsolved.
You can watch the full press conferences live at 11am wherever you stream 6abc.
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https://6abc.com/boy-in-the-box-philadelphia-cold-case-watch-news-conference-live-name/12541611/ Philadelphia police to ID body of ‘Boy in the Box’. Here’s how you can watch the news conference