Baby kidnapped from Chicago hospital in 1964 found living in Michigan: reports

Baby Paul Fronczak was snatched from Michael Reese Hospital when he was just 2 days old, leading to a massive manhunt.

SHARE Baby kidnapped from Chicago hospital in 1964 found living in Michigan: reports
Chicago Sun-Times front-page coverage on the 1964 kidnapping of baby Paul Fronczak from Michael Reese Hospital.

Paul Fronczak, who was kidnapped as a 2-day-old baby from Michael Reese Hospital in 1964, leading to a national manhunt, has finally been found living in Michigan decades later, according to a media report.

Fronczak “has been made aware of his real identity,” according to George Knapp, an investigative reporter with KLAS-8, a Las Vegas-based TV station, who has been covering the story for several years.

A spokeswoman for the FBI, which reopened the Fronczak case in 2013, would not confirm those reports.

“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,” said Siobhan Johnson, media coordinator in the Chicago FBI office. “We ask for privacy for the victims as we continue to investigate the facts surrounding this case. There is no further information at this time.”

The Fronczak story has had many twists through the years. It began on April 27, 1964, when Dora Fronczak was feeding her newborn baby in the maternity ward at Michael Reese. A woman posing as a nurse arrived and said little Paul needed an exam in the hospital nursery, according to a Chicago Sun-Times story at the time. The unsuspecting new mother handed over her baby. The visitor left, got in a cab and was never seen again.

Hundreds of Chicago police officers and FBI agents searched for the infant. Reporters shimmied up telephone poles to get pictures of Dora and Chester Fronczak inside their Oak Lawn home. In early May, a weary Dora Fronczak made a simple public plea: “Please return the baby.”

On July 2, 1965, a boy resembling the missing baby turned up abandoned in Newark, New Jersey. Without DNA or fingerprints, there was no proof it was the Fronczaks’ infant, but the couple clung to that belief because investigators suggested the child was likely theirs.

But the boy who grew up with the Paul Fronczak name long suspected he wasn’t their child. For one, he didn’t look anything like them. Then in 2012, he persuaded his parents to take a DNA test, which proved he wasn’t their biological son.

Ever since, Paul Fronczak, who now lives in Nevada, has been trying to determine his true identity and find the real Paul Fronczak.

“I think about poor Paul. He was kidnapped, and what kind of life did he lead?” Fronczak said in an interview with the Sun-Times last year. “I was lucky enough to take his place and have a wonderful life with wonderful parents.”

Neither Paul Fronczak nor Dora Fronczak could be reached for comment Thursday. Chester Fronczak died in 2017. Back in 2013, after the DNA testing results, Dora Fronczak said she had no interest in being interviewed: “We went through this once, and we certainly don’t want to go through this again.”

The Latest
Th survey involved 1,250 adults, which, coincidentally, is also the number of sports-media professionals in Chicago who openly are betting on the players and teams they yap and/or write about.
Which side of town does the Cubs-White Sox rivalry mean more to?
All signs point towards the Bulls and LaVine getting a deal done to make him a max player the next five years, but the unrestricted free agent wants to be wined and dined by other suitors just to hear what’s out there. That means there’s always a chance LaVine could stray.
There are reasons to think the Fire can turn things around, but also stay on their slide.
Our ‘ace gearhead source’ talks motorsports and picks the winners for the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.