Press Conference Video:
Excellent Transcript of Press Conference by Websleuth Member Allabouttrial:
Snipped portion of the transcript that spells out the timeline:
No, they didn't dismiss her just because she was "mentally ill" If there was actual evidence to corroborate her claims, it wouldn't matter if she was mentally ill or not She changed her story and made up details that didn't match She didn't "change her story" or "[make] up details that...
On October 30th, 1998
, a court order was obtained to have the child's remains exhumed. A post mortem examination was performed and the child was subsequently re-interred at Ivy Hill Cemetery, located in the Cedar Brook section of Philadelphia. Portions of the remains were retained for future testing. DNA testing was performed at that time, but yielded no new leads in the investigation.
For over 6 decades, the case was continuously investigated by members of the Homicide Unit who worked in concert with the Medical Examiner's Office, the Forensic Science Bureau, the Vidocq Society, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, and many other local, state and federal agencies.
This investigation had come to be referred to as 'The boy in the box', and the child who was the subject of this investigation was referred to as 'America's unknown child'. Homicide investigators, along with members of the Medical Examiners Office, conducted a review and assessment of investigations involving unidentified victims to determine which of those may benefit from the application of modern forensic techniques. It was determined that the case of the unknown child, OME No. 57-0863, would benefit from the application of such modern forensic techniques. The portion of the remains that were in the possession of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office were determined to be insufficient in order to obtain the required DNA to apply these modern techniques.
In homicide cases, such as this, extreme difficulty lies in the fact that rarely can they be resolved and the offender ultimately brought to justice until the victim is first identified.
With that in mind, on April 24th, 2019, an additional court order was obtained to have the child's remains exhumed, once again. Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Washburn, examined the remains and was able to obtain the required amount of DNA to apply modern forensic techniques. The child was re-interred and portions of the remains were retained for future testing. Contemporary forensic applications and techniques, including genealogical DNA testing, and enquires were made with the assistance of genetic genealogists. The results of the DNA testing were uploaded to DNA databases and the results were interpreted by the genealogists involved in this investigation. Based on the interpretation of the results by the genealogists, detectives were able to locate and make contact with possible relatives of the child's family, on the maternal side
Through further investigation and additional testing, the genealogists involved in this investigation were able to establish the identity of the birth mother of the unidentified child.
A court order signed by a Court of Common Pleas Judge to obtain the birth records, death records and adoption records for all children born to the established birth mother between the years 1944-1956
from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau and Health Statistics and Registries Division of Vital Records.
There were three responsive results based on this order. Two of the results were birth certificates for children born to the established birth mother, during that time frame, who were previously known to investigators. One of whom provided DNA and was matched, previously, by the geneologist. The third result was a birth certificate for a male child born to the established birth mother in 1953, which could be consistent with the approximated age of the unidentified child.
The birth father was listed on the birth certificate for the male child, born in 1953. Based on research by detectives and the genealogists, a male was discovered who could possibly be the birth father of the unidentified child. Detectives were able to locate and make contact with possible relatives of the child's family, on the paternal side.
Through additional testing, the genealogists were able to establish the birth father of the unidentified child.
A request was sent to the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General to determine if a social security number had ever been issued in the name of the child. The response from the Social Security Administration was that there had not been. Homicide Investigators, Detective Bob Hester and Detective Greg Santamala, as well as Forensics Laboratory Manager, Ryan Gallagher, met with Dr. Albert Chu of the Medical Examiner's Office. Doctor Chu was apprised of the aforementioned facts. Dr. Chu also consulted with the genetic genealogists involved in this investigation. Dr. Chu indicated that based on the facts presented and the conclusions of the genetic genealogists, the death certificate for the unknown child, OME No. 57-0863, would be amended to reflect the child's birth name, Joseph Augustus Zarelli. Joseph's date of birth is January 13th, 1953.
(Everything in bold was done by me)