FBI Reopens 1964 Kidnap Case After DNA Testing

CHICAGO (AP) -
Paul Fronczak
Paul Fronczak

The FBI is reopening its investigation into the 1964 kidnapping of a newborn boy from a Chicago hospital, after recent DNA testing revealed that a boy found in New Jersey more than a year later and returned to the elated parents wasn’t actually their son.

Paul Fronczak, 49, is a married father himself now; he lives in Henderson, Nev., and works as a college administrator. He said in June that he had long wondered why he didn’t resemble his parents, Chester and Dora Fronczak, so he underwent DNA testing earlier this year to see if he was their biological son. He wasn’t.

Fronczak said he wrote his parents a letter when he got the results to let them know.

“I really feel in my heart that the real Paul Fronczak is alive and well and out there, and nothing would make me more happy in this life than to find the real kidnapped child — and at the same time, I wouldn’t mind finding out who I am,” Fronczak said.

Hundreds of police officers and FBI agents searched for the Oak Lawn couple’s newborn son after his abduction from Michael Reese Hospital in April 1964. The case came to an apparently happy end more than a year later when an abandoned child resembling the Fronczaks’ baby was found in New Jersey and returned to them.

A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at a listing for Dora Fronczak in Oak Lawn declined to comment. In June, she said, “We went through this once, and we certainly don’t want to go through this again.”

Joan Hyde, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Chicago office, said the bureau decided to reopen the Fronczak case after reviewing the original case file.

“I don’t know how old I am, or who I am, or what nationality, all those things you just take for granted,” Fronczak said.