Watch CBS News

Police expected to name "The Boy in the Box" on Thursday

What to expect from Thursday's the "Boy in the Box" announcement from police
What to expect from Thursday's the "Boy in the Box" announcement from police 02:38

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's a question that has captivated the world for years: Who is "The Boy in the Box?"

On Thursday, the answer to one of Philadelphia's biggest mysteries is expected to be revealed by police during an 11 a.m. news conference.

Investigators with the Philadelphia Police Department will be joined by scientists and retired detectives Thursday.

The fact police have the young boy's name allows the investigation to finally move in a direction that's taken generations.

A 1957 mysterious case -- an investigation of a young boy's murder -- became known for a lifetime only as "The Box in the Box."

The image, a face without a name, has been the subject of tireless investigation for 65 years.


Detectives, scientists, analysts, genealogists and scores of police worked to unravel a mystery.

On Thursday morning, Philadelphia police will reveal the identity of "The Box in the Box."

Homicide unit officials will provide an overview of the six-decade-old case.

CBS3 Investigations was first to break last week that police had finally identified the boy. At that time, department sources said the possibility of arrests still existed.

Police use DNA to identify "The Boy in the Box" 03:37

The young boy was found along a Fox Chase roadside in February 1957. A bassinet box held the badly beaten remains.

Investigators were desperate early on to find his name.

Posters were distributed by the thousands across the city.

Despite exhaustive efforts, police were left empty-handed.

CBS3 has closely followed the investigation and kept the case on TV and online.

Last year, Philadelphia police granted CBS3 an exclusive interview.

Now retired former detective Sgt. Bob Kohlmeier talked about the persistence of police.

"Who is the child? What is his name?" Kohlmeier said in April 2021. "Can we at least give him a name?"

Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith last year talked about the many unknowns that have haunted investigators.

"Might there still be witnesses around? There could be," Smith said. "Absolutely. Might there still be a perpetrator that's still alive? Possibly. Could be."

The break in the case is due to major advances in technology -- the cross-checking of DNA profiles and matches in genealogy databases.

Department sources say while they will take questions on the investigation, there is still a lot they won't be able to share.

The press conference will be streamed on our streaming service CBS News Philadelphia.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.