Man searches for true identity after DNA test reveals mixup in 1964 kidnapping case

Paul Fronczak
Paul Joseph Fronczak

(CBS News) In April, 1964, Paul Joseph Fronczak was kidnapped from a Chicago hospital at just 30 hours old.

"Someone came in, dressed like a nurse, and told my mom that the doctor needed to see the baby for some tests," Paul Fronczak told CBS News' Jeff Glor. "So my mom looks and sees a nurse, hands her the baby, and the child is gone, just vanished."

"A little while later, someone comes in and says the doctor needs to see your baby, and she said, you guys have my baby. And they said, no, we don't. And that's when everything just fell apart."

Fourteen months into an exhaustive FBI-led search for Dora and Chester Fronczak's missing son, an abandoned toddler who looked similar to Paul, was found in Newark, N.J.

The child was reunited with the Fronczak family and raised in a happy home with a younger brother. But when he was 10-years-old Fronczak was snooping for hidden Christmas presents when he found newspaper clippings about his alleged abduction and reunion with his parents.

His parents hesitated to discuss the case, despite Fronczak's nagging questions and doubts about his resemblance to his parents and brother.

"My mom and dad pretty much said, 'You're our son, we love you, and that's pretty much all you need to know," he said.

Who is Paul Fronczak?

Five years ago, Fronczak married and has settled in Henderson, Nev. The birth of his daughter prompted him to think about -- and question -- his own childhood again and last year, Fronczak asked his parents to take a DNA test. The test found there was "no remote possibility" that he was Paul Fronczak.

"When I actually got the phone call and the lab technician said there is no remote possibility that you are Paul Fronczak, at first there was some relief, like ok, now I finally know. And then all of a sudden I felt the color drain from my face and then I started thinking about all these things that everyone takes for granted, like when your birthday is, how old you are, who your mom and dad are."

"So all those things they just hit me, and I was at work and I called my wife and said, I'm like blank. Honey, I've got nothing."

Nearly 50 years after the 1964 hospital abduction, Fronczak is searching for the the person he calls the "real Paul Joseph Fronczak."

For him, the "perfect ending" would be to find that "he's alive and he's happy, and he gets to meet my mom and dad. And on the same day, we found out who I am," he added.

"In 1964, someone who didn't have a child, all of a sudden did. And then in 1965, someone who had a child, all of a sudden didn't. Someone has to be alive that knows something."

Paul Fronczak has launched a Facebook page to aid in his search for the so-called real Paul Fronczak and to discover his own name and identity.