Here is what the Doe Network has in its files on the little boy...
Unidentified White Male
Body found in a cardboard box off Susquehanna Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1957
The child was severly beaten and bruised.
Estimated age: 4-6 years old
Approximate Height and Weight: 40 1/2 inches; 30 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: He had blue eyes and pale skin. His hair was medium to light brown, or blond in color, and was trimmed in an odd, bowl-shaped haircut. There were seven scars on the body, three of which could have resulted from surgical procedures. Two of these "surgical" scars were on the chest and groin. They had healed quite well, leaving only a hair-line trace. There was also a scar on the boy's left ankle, which looked like a "cut-down" incision. Such an incision is made to expose a vein so that a needle may be inserted to give an infusion or transfusion. There was a 1 1/2 - inch scar on the left side of the chest, and a round, irregular scar on the left elbow. On the chin was an L-shaped scar - a quarter of an inch long in each direction. There was no vaccination scar. The boy had been circumcised. He had several small moles on his body, including three on the left side of his face; one below his right ear; three on his chest; and one on his right arm, two inches above his wrist.
Dentals: The boy had a full set of baby teeth, and was also slightly buck-toothed.
Clothing: A tan child's scarf and a boy's yellow flannel shirt were also recovered at the scene. Investigators determined that the size four shirt matched the child's size at the time of his homicide. A child's pair of black shoes were also located; however, they did not fit the unidentified boy. An Ivy League style cap made of blue corduroy was also found near the box; the hat had a leather strap and buckle across the back. It was determined that the cap was made in a south Philadelphia shop; the store owner recalled that a man between the ages of 26 - 30 made the purchase. He did not speak with an accent. The purchaser was never identified.
This case has baffled the public for more than 42 years. The boy, now referred to as "America's Unknown Child" or "The Boy In The Box," has never been identified -- many leads have been followed, but proved futile.
The child's unclothed body was placed inside a cardboard box and deposited at a garbage-filled locale on Susquehanna Road in Philadelphia in February 1957. His body was beaten, although coroners' investigations were unable to pinpoint any previous broken bones or inflicted trauma. The child's nails were recently trimmed. The palm of his right hand and the soles of his feet were rough and wrinkled, indicating that the limbs had been submerged in water prior or shortly after his death. Strands of the child's own hair were present on his body, leading authorities to believe that his hair had been cut shortly before or following his homicide.
The boy was wrapped in a large piece of an inexpensive, well-worn blanket with a faded design of diamonds and blocks in green, rust-colored red, brown and white. An additional piece of the blanket was found inside the box, which was smeared with automotive grease. The third piece of the blanket remains missing.
The box which contained the child's body was from JC Penney's in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and had been used for a white bassinette. Records were unable to pinpoint the purchaser of the item.
Below link contains a photos of the box that the victim was found in and Artist Reconstructions of the little boy.
This case has been re-opened and closed many times in over 40 years. The boy's remains were exhumed in the late 90's for DNA testing; he was then reinterred into a tomb marked "America's Unknown Child" in Philadelphia. Recently, The Vidocq Society, an assembly of esteemed detectives and forensic examiners, has taken up the case.
A long strand of brown hair -- identified as being from someone else, not the child -- was removed from the scene. In addition, a man's handkerchief with the initial "G" was located near the box. Short stands of hair were present on the material and were tested to determine if the hair came from the unidentified boy; the results of the tests are unknown.
A forensic artist created an image which may possibly reflect what the boy's father may have looked like, as seen in below link. (Courtesy of America's Most Wanted)
Update: Fall of 2000 -- An independent laboratory was able to obtain a a mitochondrial DNA profile from the boy's teeth. His remains were badly deteriorated and it was a last chance effort after failing to lift any other type of DNA.
Update: May of 2002 -- Investigators received a phone call from a psychiatrist who said that a patient of her's, named Martha, knew who the little boy was. Martha said that in 1955, when she was 11, her librarian mother drove her to a home, where she picked the boy up in exchange for an envelope which she assumed contained money. The child, called Jonathan, then came to live with them in their Philadelphia home. There, he was raised in squalor in the basement, with a drain for a bathroom and a makeshift bed amid coal bins and discarded cardboard cartons. Martha claimed that her mother regularly sexually abused her and had purchased the child to do the same to him.
The boy's death, Martha claimed, eventually came when her mother, in a fit of rage, slammed him down on the floor after he vomited in the tub. That day, her mother drove her into Philadelphia to dump the child.
Investigator Tom Augustine was amazed, but skeptical. "This is the best lead we've ever had on this case," he explained. "But until we have proof that [the boy] is who she says he is, she can talk all day long we're not closing it."
If you have any information as to the identity of this boy or the circumstances of his death, please contact:
Philadelphia Police Department
You may remain anonymous if you wish.
America's Unknown Child: The Boy In The Box Mystery
America's Most Wanted
The Doe Network: Case File 4UMPA