Writing up the Paul Fronczak case

I’ve started writing up the story of the disappearance, recovery and un-recovery of baby Paul Fronczak. (Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know who he is already.) It’s going to take awhile. The Facebook page about his case has loads of articles from back in the sixties when this happened.

It’s a heck of a story, Bobby Dunbar all over again. With the difference that Bobby Dunbar’s parents died believing they had their son back, and Paul Fronczak’s parents are both still alive. I wonder how they’re taking it. He was their second child; the first had been born dead.

The chances of finding the real Paul Fronczak are remote. Even more remote are the chances of finding his abductor alive. If she was 35 to 40 years old in 1964, she’d be in her eighties now and very possibly beyond the reach of what justice humans can mete out. That woman sounds absolutely chilling. She hung around the hospital for at least four fracking hours, apparently baby-shopping. She had the hospital’s layout and staff routines down. And she stayed calm the whole time and fooled patients and staff alike. I think she must have been plotting for months.

The Fronczak parents are of Polish and Croatian descent; the boy they raised, according to his DNA, has Jewish ancestry. Ancestry.com managed to track down a third cousin in their database, but that’s not much of a lead because people usually have thousands of third cousins they have no idea exist.

In the meantime, for me, writing up this case is troublesome because there are two Paul Fronczaks here: there’s Paul the kidnapped baby and Paul the adult who, it turns out, was not the kidnapped baby, but has no other name. How do I refer to them so there’s no confusion? Maybe call the kidnapped one “baby Paul” and the other just “Paul”?

11 thoughts on “Writing up the Paul Fronczak case

  1. Jose August 16, 2013 / 7:40 am

    I hope whoever took him gives a “deathbed” confession.

  2. Sibyl August 16, 2013 / 5:41 pm

    I tried to read the FB page but had to quit before my head exploded. Some of the comments are ignorant as well as outrageous. I hope he finds his origin. As an adoptee, I think everyone has the right to know where they came from.

  3. Holly August 17, 2013 / 2:32 pm

    As I read this, I was thinking it’s a bittersweet kind of case. It’s bitter, of course, because there are lives that have been changed. However, it’s sweet because the Fronczaks were able to raise this child as their own, although he was not theirs, and he was able to have a family raise him. Obviously, someone abandoned him from a very young age and he would have otherwise been an orphan. I feel like the real Paul Fronczak was raised by a woman who simply wanted a baby. That sounds like the most plausible reason for any woman who puts as much time and effort as she did into getting a baby. And I feel more than likely, she raised Paul as her own or perhaps sold him to a man and woman who could not have children. Either way, Paul is more than likely not Paul today. And the nurse poser is more than likely deceased or like Meaghan mentioned, out of the realms of the justice she deserves. I hope both Pauls know their true identity someday; however, for nearly 50 years they have been someone else. So it may be good to know their origins, but they more than likely identify with who they’ve been for 50 years. Very complicated case altoghether.

  4. Kim August 17, 2013 / 6:31 pm

    Did police ever test the blood type of the parents and “Paul” to see if there was any way they could be of relation?

    • Meaghan August 17, 2013 / 11:48 pm

      Yes. They tested the blood type back when “Paul” was located and determined it could be a match. But they didn’t have DNA back then, only blood typing.

      • Pj Fronczak February 1, 2014 / 11:19 am

        Here’s the rub to the blood test… Baby Paul was never blood typed at Michael Reese hospital, nor was he foot printed; He was in that hospital for over a day.

  5. JWinMo November 1, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Wouldn’t the company that processed the home DNA test have the parents DNA profile on file? They provided it once (showing NJ Paul) was not their son.

    Also, couldn’t FBI use the Codus (sp) system to check possible matches?

  6. judy echelberger November 12, 2013 / 10:29 pm

    I am disappointed at the efforts of the FBI and police during the original search for the Fronczak baby. There should have been a photo of the newborn put in every clinic, hospital and doctor’s office, as at some point the baby would have gotten medical treatment. Even in 1964 there were innoculations for various diseases that should have been taken care of. ie; German Measles, polio. I am left to believe that the 4 men who had come foreward as being possibly Paul Fronczak, must not have been though I didn’t hear the results of their tests on the 20/20 show. I agree with the thought that the DNA should have been run through Codus, and yes the place that checked the DNA already, well it seems they should have had the parents DNA on file. It would be a difficult spot for each person involved to be in with a myriad of feelings and emotions. I am stunned that no one came forward on the photo of the 14month old boy, as there must have been photos of him in someone’s life, a grandmother, a sister, someone finding old family photos. And actually the same with the newborn baby. There should have been photos in someone’s life. I think both photos should go on missing and exploited children sites. You never know where someone will run into this. Today, 11/11/13. is my first time to hear of it…I don’t envy this group, and I pray that it all ends well, but that’s a tough one. My suggestion, keep it out there somehow. Run adds in the paper with the story and photos of both. My prayer is that someone will come forward at some time.

    • Meaghan November 12, 2013 / 10:32 pm

      The FBI and law enforcement in general are much better at looking for missing persons than they used to be, thank goodness.

  7. Pj Fronczak February 1, 2014 / 11:06 am

    Judy, you have made some very good points and I really enjoyed reading your post.
    The FBI have the resources to run down the DNA samples that we have but choose not to make this case a priority. I would think that having the chance to solve a 50 year old case would be a good thing, and one that you would want to solve, however, the FBI must see things differently.
    Thank you for following my story, and please continue as we have some good things in the works!

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