In 1966, a boy was found abandoned in New Jersey, and law enforcement officials said at the time that he had ears shaped like those of the baby kidnapped in Chicago.
But in another cruel twist for the family, genetic tests that were not available in the 1960s revealed in 2013 that it was not him.
Woman posing as a maternity-ward nurse snatched a newborn from its mother’s arms more than 55 years ago, the case made headlines nationwide and led to a massive search by FBI agents and police.
The kidnapper fled the hospital with the baby in her arms and wrapped in a receiving blanket, police said that time. She then got in a taxi bound for the southwest side of Chicago.
A week later, the FBI distributed an artist’s rendition of the suspect, who newspapers referred to as “the mystery woman.” Witnesses described her as around 40, standing 5-foot-4 with a ruddy complexion and black, graying hair.
At least one nurse who bore a resemblance was detained, then released after an hour of questioning.
More than 200 police officers, some with the drawing and a photo of the baby, went door to door in neighborhoods near where the taxi dropped the kidnapper off. The postmaster general even enlisted 175,000 mail carriers nationwide to help, asking them to report anything suspicious, including someone on their route suddenly having an unexplained baby.
The kidnapped boy’s father, who worked as a machinist, told reporters his wife was so distraught that she had been sedated.
Chester Fronczak also issued a plea to the kidnapper to return the baby and, if she didn’t do so immediately, to at least care for the child. At the father’s behest, newspapers even ran a recipe for a baby formula with instructions to feed it to the newborn in 3-ounce portions every four hours.
Now recent media reports say a man living in rural Michigan may be the child of Chester and Dora Fronczak who was abducted on April 26, 1964, from a Chicago hospital.
An FBI statement issued this week confirmed that the investigation remains open and agents continue to pursue leads.
We can tell you the adult Paul Fronczak is living in Michigan and has been made aware of his real identity,” a December 12 report said.
The man, who asked not to be identified, became aware several months ago of evidence pointing to him and was trying to come to terms with the revelations.
“That’s my baby. It’s Paul,” the mother was quoted as saying at the time.