Forty-nine-year mystery of kidnapped baby Paul

Paul Fronczak
Paul Fronczak

 

In 1964, newborn Paul Fronczak was abducted from the maternity ward of a Chicago hospital by a woman who was posing as a nurse.

Paul’s mother, Dora Fronczak, had simply handed over her one-day-old son when she was told he needed to be examined by a doctor. There was no reason to think the woman, who was dressed in a nurse’s uniform, was telling her anything other than the truth.

His parents’ devastation at the abduction of their son turned to elation the following year when a one-year-old boy was found in a stroller, abandoned outside a shop in Newark, New Jersey.

The FBI determined that the boy could be the Fronczaks’ son, saying his ears were similar to the kidnapped boy’s. There were no DNA tests available to confirm this, but Dora and her husband Chester also were convinced.

“That’s my baby,” Dora reportedly told police when she saw the child. They took him and raised him as their own.

But now, 49 years after the mystery was believed to have been solved, DNA tests have revealed that Paul is not the Fronczaks’ biological child.

The stunning revelation has led Mr Fronczak to question exactly who he is, and what happened to the real baby Paul who was kidnapped almost half a century ago.

Paul Fronczak as a toddler
Paul Fronczak as a toddler

 

“It has really started consuming my thoughts. Who am I?”‘ said Mr Fronczak, who is now 49 and lives in Henderson, Nevada.

He told KLAS-TV in the US that he had caught himself wondering how old he actually was, why his birth parents had abandoned him, and what his birth name was.

“But more importantly, is the real Fronczak baby still alive?” he said.

“Is he out there? And if he is, can we find him [and] reunite him with my mum and dad?’

Mr Fronczak, who is now married with a child of his own, worked up the nerve this year to ask his elderly parents to take a DNA test when they visited him in Nevada.

As a child, his parents never told him of his supposed kidnapping, but as he grew older he began to question his heritage.

In 1964, newborn Paul Fronczak was abducted from the maternity ward of a Chicago hospital by a woman who was posing as a nurse.

Paul’s mother, Dora Fronczak, had simply handed over her one-day-old son when she was told he needed to be examined by a doctor. There was no reason to think the woman, who was dressed in a nurse’s uniform, was telling her anything other than the truth.

His parents’ devastation at the abduction of their son turned to elation the following year when a one-year-old boy was found in a stroller, abandoned outside a shop in Newark, New Jersey.

Baby Paul, before he was abducted.
Baby Paul, before he was abducted.

 

The FBI determined that the boy could be the Fronczaks’ son, saying his ears were similar to the kidnapped boy’s. There were no DNA tests available to confirm this, but Dora and her husband Chester also were convinced.

“That’s my baby,” Dora reportedly told police when she saw the child. They took him and raised him as their own.

But now, 49 years after the mystery was believed to have been solved, DNA tests have revealed that Paul is not the Fronczaks’ biological child.

The stunning revelation has led Mr Fronczak to question exactly who he is, and what happened to the real baby Paul who was kidnapped almost half a century ago.

“It has really started consuming my thoughts. Who am I?”‘ said Mr Fronczak, who is now 49 and lives in Henderson, Nevada.

He told KLAS-TV in the US that he had caught himself wondering how old he actually was, why his birth parents had abandoned him, and what his birth name was.

“But more importantly, is the real Fronczak baby still alive?” he said.

“Is he out there? And if he is, can we find him [and] reunite him with my mum and dad?’

Mr Fronczak, who is now married with a child of his own, worked up the nerve this year to ask his elderly parents to take a DNA test when they visited him in Nevada.

As a child, his parents never told him of his supposed kidnapping, but as he grew older he began to question his heritage.

The genealogy site ancestry.com has collected a new DNA sample from Mr Fronczak, and will match his information to a database of 700,000 genetic markers across the world.

While his biological parents might not be in the database, the process could identify a distant relative, helping him to begin his search.

FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde told the Chicago Tribune that the agency had found the original files from the 1960s but had not yet decided whether the case would be re-opened.