Our Pledge To You

News

Breakthrough in Paul Fronczak mistaken identity kidnap case, Las Vegas TV report says

As a toddler in 1965, Paul Fronczak was involved in a wild case of mistaken identify when he was believed to be the kidnapped infant of a Chicago couple.

Now, decades later, he has made a breakthrough in the search for his true identity, according to KLAS-TV, the CBS news station in Las Vegas.

Fronczak, 51, found himself at the center of an international news story in 1965 when he was found abandoned in front of a New Jersey store and “returned”  to a woman in Chicago who — a year earlier — had her newborn baby taken from her by a woman dressed as a nurse at Michael Reese Hospital on the Near South Side.

In 2012, the results of a DNA test proved something Fronczak had long suspected, that the couple who raised him, Dora and Chester Fronczak, of Southwest suburban Oak Lawn, were not his biological parents.

Now Fronczak, who lives in Nevada, believes he has finally found his biological family, according to a report by KLAS-TV, which shared a transcript of the story with the Sun-Times before it was scheduled to air late Thursday.

Genealogical researchers used several DNA databases to track Fronczak’s true identity to the East Coast, the report states. His real name is Jack. And he has a twin sister named Jill, whose whereabouts are unknown, the report states.

“Our research indicates that both her and I mysteriously disappeared before [our] second birthdays,” the report quotes Fronczak as saying. “I was found abandoned in Newark and we have nothing on Jill.”

Fronczak is not releasing the name of his biological family to protect their privacy and to give him more time to piece together the story, the KLAS-TV report states.

Fronczak spoke to relatives who led him to believe that his existence was kept a secret, according to the report.

He was told that a page of pictures of him and his twin sister was ripped out of a family photo album, the report says. It adds that his biological parents are dead. 

“It’s one thing to learn who you are, but like I said, it’s bittersweet ’cause, I have a twin sister out there that vanished just like I did,” the report quotes Fronczak as saying. ”What happened to her, you know?”

When the FBI reopened his case in 2013, Fronczak told the Sun-Times that in addition to discovering his origins, he was also determined to find out what happened to the real Paul Fronczak who was kidnapped all those years ago.

“I feel I’m one step closer to solving these two tragic mysteries and one step closer to a very happy ending,” he said at the time.

Watch the Las Vegas TV station’s report here: