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Paul was stolen from Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on April 27, 1964, when he was only 36 hours old. He was the second child of his parents, Chester and Dora Fronczak; their first had been stillborn. His abductor posed as a nurse, wearing a white uniform but no cap. At 9:30 a.m., she came into Dora and Paul's hospital room while Paul was nursing, unwrapped his blanket, looked at him and then left without saying anything. At 1:30 p.m., she returned to the room and said she needed to take the newborn to the nursery. Dora gave the baby to her. Twenty minutes passed before a real nurse came into the room to take Paul to the nursery, and they realized he was missing. The police were called at 2:00 p.m. after a search of the hospital turned up no sign of him.
Investigators determined the abductor took Paul down a back staircase, left the hospital through the rear entrance and took a cab to the vicinity of 35th and Halstead, at which point the trail was lost. The abductor was 35 to 40 years old in 1964, of medium height with graying dark hair, brown eyes and a reddish complexion. Authorities stated she had a good idea of the hospital layout and staff routines. She was never identified or apprehended, but sketches of her are posted below this case summary.
On July 2, 1965, a toddler was found abandoned outside a store in Newark, New Jersey. The boy was named Scott McKinley by New Jersey child protection authorities; a photo of him is posted below this case summary. He resembled Paul and was about the right age. FBI agents tested Scott's blood and thought he might be Paul, but DNA testing was not available in the 1960s and Paul's footprints hadn't been taken before his kidnapping, so they couldn't establish the abandoned child's identity. Paul's parents believed the New Jersey child was their son. They legally adopted him when he was about two years old.
In 2012, a DNA test proved the man the Fronczaks had raised was not in fact their biological child. He is now 49 years old and lives in Nevada. As he grew up he came to suspect he wasn't really Paul Fronczak, since he didn't resemble the rest of his family. The kidnapped baby is of Polish and Croatian descent; the one the Fronczaks adopted has European and Jewish ancestry. The adopted man enlisted a genetic geneaologist to help determine his identity, and they got a match in mid-2015. His birth name was Jack; his family name has not been publicly released. Jack is one of five children and his biological parents and one sibling are now deceased. He and his twin sister, named Jill, disappeared mysteriously shortly before their second birthdays and were never seen again. Jack and Jill's parents lied about the twins' whereabouts, telling both sides of their family that the children were with the other side. They allegedly removed photos of the twins from the family photo album, and the father warned relatives not to talk about them. As a result, their disappearances weren't reported.
In light of the new information, the FBI has reopened the case and begun anew the search for Paul Fronczak. Dora and Chester are still alive and supported their adopted son's efforts to determine his true identity, and hope to be reunited with their biological son.
Left: The Fronczaks' adopted son in 1965;
Right: The Fronczaks' adopted son in 2013
Sketches of the abductor
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Chicago, Illinois Office