Americas

Newborn baby kidnapped from hospital is found 55 years later

A newborn baby abducted from a hospital has been discovered living in a rural town in the US five decades later.

In 1964, a woman dressed as a nurse took one-day-old baby Paul Fronczak from his cot and never returned.

Now – 55 years on – a US TV news channel claims to have found the man who was once the stolen baby after the FBI re-opened its investigation.

It has not been a smooth ride for the Fronczak family from Chicago, US.

Two years after Paul’s abduction, a toddler was found abandoned in a shopping centre in New Jersey and assumed to be the missing child.

It was years before the invention of DNA testing, so the Fronczaks had no way of confirming if the boy was truly their son, but adopted him back into their family.

Chester and Dora Fronczak assumed the boy was theirs, and it wasn’t until he was 10 that he discovered newspaper clippings about the abduction and his parents explained the story.


But Paul also suspected something was wrong. Where his parents and brother had fair skin and hair, he was dark skinned with long brown locks.

While his family were Catholic and conservative, he had a rebellious streak.

In 2012, nearly four decades after the initial abduction, Paul finally took a DNA test which proved that he was not biologically related to the Fronczak’s – reigniting the mystery surrounding the missing baby.

The FBI re-opened their investigation and investigative journalists at Chicago based news organisation WGN began the search for the real Paul Fronczak.

They claim he has been found after tracking him down to a small town in Michigan, where he is living under a different name.

The man has not been named by WGN as he remains the victim of a crime. He told WGN he was aware of evidence that he was the same child abducted from the Chicago hospital half a century ago.


He said the FBI had contacted him a few months ago, but he is still coming to terms with the news and has not yet made arrangements to meet up with his biological mother, Dora.

The man will never get the opportunity to meet his biological father, Chester, who died several years ago.

The FBI has not confirmed whether the man in Michigan is Paul Fronczak, but spokesperson Siobhan Johnson said in a statement: ‘Several years ago, the FBI reopened the investigation into the disappearance of Paul Joseph Fronczak.

‘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.’

The man who was raised as Paul Fronczak told the BBC in a previous interview that his parents were sensitive when he discovered the abduction.

He said he understood why his mother was so quick to agree to adopt him as her son.

Paul said: ‘She could either say, “I’m not sure” and put this child back into the system, or say, “Yes, that’s my son” – and even if it was not, save this child from what could be a horrible life.’

Dora has declined to comment on the latest discovery, WGN said.

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