Cops to finally reveal identity of boy, 6 beaten to death and stuffed in box

Police are set to reveal the identity of a six-year-old murder victim known as “Boy in the Box” who was found badly beaten in a container in the 50s.

The child, who was aged between four and six at the time of his murder, was found discarded along a stretch of road in northern Philadelphia in February 1957.

He couldn't be identified at the time or during the years that followed, earning him the tragic moniker of "America's Unknown Child".

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Now, news that police have learned the child's identity means that Philadelphia’s oldest unsolved homicide is now closed.

Police said that detective work and DNA analysis helped crack the near 66-year-old case and they are set to publicly release the victim’s name on Thursday, December 8.

Cemetery worker Linda Tamburri said: "To have a name on that stone, that's what everybody has been wishing forever.

"I'm just glad I'm here to actually know I'll see that little boy's name on the stone."

Ms Tamburri and her colleagues at Ivy Hill Cemetery burst into tears when they were told that Philadelphia police cracked the case.

She and colleague Dave Drysdale have been looking after the boy's resting place since his remains were transferred there in 1998.

Drysdale said: "I think it's wonderful.

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"I just wish that the police officers and all the people involved who long passed away were still here to see it because that was one of their goals and a couple of them said 'I hope they live long enough to see a name put on there.'"

It has taken years of analysing DNA and cross-referencing it with genealogical databases to uncover his name, CBS3 Investigations reports.

Now-retired Detective Sergeant Bob Kuhlmeier told the outlet in April 2021 that the cause of death was "blunt force trauma".

"He appeared to be cleaned and freshly groomed with a haircut," he added.

In 2019, police exhumed the boy's remains to retrieve more DNA which helped them develop a successful DNA profile.

Using the DNA, detectives scoured genealogy information to track down potential links and relatives.

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