A baby who was abducted from a Chicago hospital more than 55 years ago appears to be alive and living under a new identity in Michigan.
Paul Fronczak vanished from a hospital crib on April 26, 1964, after a woman dressed in white, supposedly posing as a nurse, absconded with the child a day after he was born, WGN-TV reported this week.
After an exhaustive search following the abduction, the boy’s parents, Chester and Dora Fronczak, adopted a child who had been abandoned in Newark, New Jersey — and whose ears, they said, looked similar to their son’s. Although there wasn’t any definitive proof it was their son and fingerprinting was never done, the parents hung tight to the belief he was biologically theirs and raised the mystery child as their own, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But in 2012, a DNA test revealed that the child they adopted, now a grown man, was not actually their kidnapped son, Paul Fronczak, KLAS-TV reported.
“I don’t know how old I am, or who I am, or what nationality, all those things you just take for granted,” the stunned man told KLAS-TV at the time.
But this month, the original Paul Fronczak was revealed to likely be living under a new name in a small town in Michigan, where he’s still adjusting to the reality.
“I have loose ends to tie up,” he told WGN-TV, who didn’t identify the man by his new name.
Answers as to who took him and other details of his life are still shrouded in mystery. The man, did admit, however, he’s fighting cancer, but also said the revelation has been overwhelming, and that he’s not ready to publicly come forward.
The unidentified individual didn’t specify if he’d reach out to his believed biological mother Dora Fronczak. His father, Chester, supposedly passed away two years ago, the Sun-Times reported.
“We went through this once, and we certainly don’t want to go through this again,” Dora Fronczak told the newspaper when she learned that the boy they adopted wasn’t biologically theirs in 2013.
A spokesperson for the FBI’s Chicago office declined to comment on the case, or whether it had actually been solved or not.
"Several years ago, the FBI reopened the investigation into the disappearance of Paul Joseph Fronczak,” the spokesperson said, according to a statement sent to Oxygen.com on Friday, December 20. “Our investigation into this matter remains ongoing as we continue to pursue all leads. We ask for privacy for the victims as we continue to investigate the facts surrounding this case. There is no further information at this time.”
The Michigan man, who is believed to be the real Paul Fronczak, stated that the FBI had reached out to him in the past, the outlet reported.
"The circumstances of Paul’s case are so unique — we’ve never seen anything like this before,” Robert Lowery Jr., vice president for the missing children division at the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, told Oxygen.com. “While the facts are unraveling and we know much more today there are still many unanswered questions.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.