Philadelphia police to reveal update on 'Boy in the Box' case -- city's oldest unsolved homicide

The body of the little boy was found in a box on the side of Susquehanna Road in Fox Chase back in 1957.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Major break in Philadelphia's 'Boy in the Box' cold case
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Philadelphia police sources say they have identified the child known as "the boy in the box."

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia investigators will provide an update Thursday on one of the city's highest-profile unsolved mysteries.

Police say through detective work and DNA analysis, officers have finally identified the child known as the "boy in the box."

The body of the little boy was found in a cardboard box on the side of Susquehanna Road in Fox Chase back in 1957. The boy was nude, malnourished and fatally beaten.

His remains had never been identified until now. The case remains Philadelphia's oldest unsolved homicide.

It's never left the mind of Dave Drysdale. The headstone reading "America's Unknown Child" sits outside his office at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Cedarbrook.

"I just wish some of the old timers were still here to see this because I know they were hoping for this day," said Drysdale.

Detective Tom Augustine passed away in October. He was a pallbearer, carrying the unknown boy to his new grave site back in 1998.

Augustine exhumed the body from a potter's field for DNA collection and a proper burial.

Action News spoke to his grandson, Matthew Braxton.

"We grew up with those posters plastered in his office, in his house. We grew up knowing at a very young age who this was. It was a big part of not only his life, but our life. So it's kind of closure for us too," said Braxton.

The case was taken up by the Vidocq Society, which is made up of some of the world's top investigators.

Ivy Hill Cemetery says it's ready to engrave the headstone with a name and restore some dignity to this young child.

A news conference on the case is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.