What We Know About Joseph Augustus Zarelli – “The Boy in the Box”

Due to great advances in technology and DNA analysis in the past two decades, experts were able to identify an unknown young boy who was murdered in 1957. For a full analysis of this case, check out our last article on this case here. His identity was determined using genetic genealogy using DNA previously taken from the body when it was exhumed.

Using 3rd and 4th cousins found to match Joseph, experts trailed the family tree, finally locating the birth mother of the boy. With this information, police were able to obtain the birth certificate. Joseph Augustus Zarelli was born January 13, 1953. According to various sources, the name of the father does appear on the birth certificate, however it would take further DNA analysis to verify who the father may be. Through interviews, though, investigators believe both listed on the birth certificate are the boy’s biological parents. Both of these people are now deceased.

Analysts and investigators have confirmed that Joseph had half-siblings on both sides of the family. The names of these people and the parents are closely guarded by police. With our own genealogy research, we have discovered possible parents for Joseph. Although this information is not announced by police and is all alleged and unconfirmed.

Possible parents for Joseph Zarelli are Cynthia Pashko (1931-2018) and Augustus “Gus” Zarelli Jr. (1926-2014). However, this is according to internet sleuths and Ancestry information which has not been confirmed with DNA. The couple lived in Pennsylvania and (according to Ancestry research) may have experienced the unfortunate death of several children.

With the name of the mystery child being finally revealed, the next questions to ponder come into question.

Who are Joseph’s parents?

Why was he not reported missing?

What happened to Joseph?

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