1964 Baby Kidnapping
CHICAGO (AP) — Key dates in the 1964 abduction of Paul Joseph Fronczak:
APRIL 25, 1964
Paul Joseph Fronczak is born at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, the son of Dora, 28, and Chester Fronczak Jr., 33. Their first child a year earlier was stillborn.
APRIL 27, 1964
A ruddy-faced woman about 40 years old posing as a nurse takes the baby from his mother’s arms as she is feeding him, saying he had to be returned to the nursery so a pediatrician could examine him. They disappear without a trace. After the abduction is discovered, police are called. A nationwide search ensues.
MARCH 8, 1965
The Fronczaks file a $1 million lawsuit against Michael Reese Hospital, saying it was negligent in permitting unauthorized people to enter the maternity section.
JULY 2, 1965
A young boy who resembles the missing Fronczak child is found abandoned in Newark, New Jersey. When the baby was abducted, police had said blood type and ear shape were about the only leads they had because the boy was a 99% perfect baby with no blemishes or birthmarks.
A lawyer for the Fronczaks and the FBI issue a statement saying that while it has not been established that the Fronczaks are the boy’s parents, neither has the fact been excluded. Reports say 10,000 children had been tested in the two years since Paul Joseph's abduction and all others were excluded.
Judge James E. Murphy signs an adoption decree awarding custody of the 3-year-old foundling to the Fronczaks. However, police files on the case remain open.
JAN. 11, 1968
The Fronczaks and Michael Reese Hospital reach an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount.
Paul Fronczak, 49, a married father working as a college administrator in Nevada, tells the Chicago Sun-Times that DNA testing that year determined he was not the Fronczaks' biological son. Dora Fronczak tells the newspaper: “We went through this once, and we certainly don’t want to go through this again.”
The FBI says it is reopening its investigation into the kidnapping.
DEC. 19, 2019
Media outlets report that an adult man living in Michigan may be the abducted child.
The AP Corporate Archives contributed to this report.