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08/17/57 Philadelphia Inquirer

N.Y. Girl's Death Tied To Boy's Slaying Here


Similarity of circumstances surrounding the discovery of the body of a small girl in a secluded park in East Bronx, N.Y., and the murder of a young boy stuffed in a carton in Fox Chase eight months ago, launched a full-scale investigation yesterday by Philadelphia and New York police.

The two-state investigation was begun after the girl, about 5 years old, was found Wednesday in a lonely area of Rodman's Neck Park in the East Bronx.

The similarity between the death of the little girl and of the still unidentified boy in Fox Chase was noted immediately by Lt. David Brown, acting commander of the Philadelphia Homicide squad, who said a New York police teletype message seeking information on the girl's identity "immediately was placed in the file on the murdered boy."




"We definitely intend to cooperate fully with New York detectives on this case" Brown said. He added that he was in telephone contact with homicide detectives there in an effort to run down any leads, which might develop, on either case.

In New York, Homicide Detective Harold Leahrer said police, as in the case of the Fox Chase boy, are "getting dozens of leads daily on possible identity of the girl." He, too, said he would remain in "close touch" with Philadelphia police on any developments pertinent to the two cases.

The girl's body was found in a woodland in the park. The body was wrapped in a white sleeveless undershirt with pieces of Army-type OD raincoat around it and tied with white cord. Several feet away was a torn blue canvas suitcase believed to have been used to transport the body.




An autopsy yesterday revealed the girl apparently died of acute peritonitis caused after she swallowed a sharp object. Assistant Medical Examiner Henry Siegel said the girl apparently had been dead for about five days before she was found.

Brown said the similarity between the two cases was remarkable in that the Fox Chase boy also was undernourished, and was naked, except for being wrapped in a portion of blanket, when he was found February 26 in a cardboard carton.




The boy, whose identity still is a mystery, is believed to have died as a result of a severe beating. He was buried July 24 in the city cemetery at Mechanicsville and Dunks Ferry roads, at serves paid for by donations from detectives and other sympathetic persons.

Brown said the investigation into the murder is continuing full-scale with two homicide men permanently assigned to the case and six detectives, one from each detective division, assisting them.

08/19/57 Philadelphia Bulletin 

Marker Planned for Unknown Boy


The police department has approved the placing of a marker on the grave of the unknown boy found slain in Fox Chase and buried in the city's cemetery Captain David H. Roberts said today.

Roberts, head of the homicide squad, said he will confer Wednesday with members of the Art Commission on the design and inscription.

The stone will be purchased out of a $150 balance in a burial fund contributed by detectives, employees of the detective bureau and public donors.

The boy, between four and six, was found February 26 in a cardboard box at Susquehanna and Verree roads. He was buried July 24 in the cemetery at Mechanicsville and Dunk's Ferry roads, Holmesburg.

08/22/57 Philadelphia Bulletin 

Art Board Oks Marker For Slain Boy's Grave


 The Art Commission yesterday approved a simple marker for the grave of the unknown boy found slain in Fox Chase and buried in the city's cemetery at Mechanicsville and Dunks Ferry roads, Holmesburg.

Captain David H. Robert, head of the homicide squad, told the commissioners he had no design in mind. He said that he and others concerned were stumped as to what to put on the marker.

The marker, which will be paid for out of a $150 balance in a burial fund, will be two feet wide, 18 inches in depth and ten inches high. It will bear the number 191, the only identification for the boy who was found February 26 in a cardboard box at Susquehanna and Verree roads. He was buried July 24.

08/23/57 Philadelphia Daily News

Slain Boy One of Missing Family?



Homicide detectives have a fresh and exciting interest today in the case of the murdered boy of Fox Chase. A father came to police with a story that there is a chance the dead boy is his long-missing son.

Harold Sanders, 31, of Dover, Del., had a son who was fair, thin, about the age of the child found battered to death in a cardboard box at Verree and Susquehanna rds. Last February.

The father thus revived a search for his missing family-wife, two daughters, and a son. The father learned only recently about the murder, that the Fox Chase boy had not been identified.

Homicide Lieutenant David Brown said, "Even if it was not the Sanders boy, we are working on the strangest disappearance case in Philadelphia police records."

Missing without a trace are Mrs. Jean Sanders, 32, her daughters, Bonnie, 9, and Carol, 7, and son, John, more than 4, if still alive.

The boy found in the box was believed to be between 4 and 8 years old. Physicians said his exact age could not be determined. The boy was thin, even undernourished, when he was slain.

Sanders told police that his son was "that sort of child."

"John was a thin child" said the father. "He had an organic ailment. No matter how much nourishing food he ate, he always appeared undernourished."

1957 Philadelphia Bulletin 

Marker Erected for Unknown Boy


"Heavenly Father, bless this unknown boy, February 25, 1957."


That's how the epitaph will read on the gravestone of the little boy whose body was found in a box on a Fox Chase lot.

The announcement was made this afternoon by Chief Detective Inspector John J. Kelly and Captain David H. Roberts, head of the homicide squad.

They said the wording was agreed upon by the rank and file members of the detective bureau who contributed funds to give the unknown child a funeral on July 24 with burial in the city's cemetery at Mechanicsville and Dunks Ferry roads, Holmesburg.

It was also announced that the monument firm of Guest and Williams, 15th and Haines sts., had offered to donate the gravestone.

The detectives had planned to buy the grave marker with $160 left from $240 donated by detectives and outsiders.

Now, Kelly and Roberts said, it has been suggested that the $160 be turned over to a children's home in memory of the dead child, who was from four to six years old.


09/14/57 Philadelphia Inquirer 

4 Questioned In Murder of Boy Found in Carton 

 All Are Released After Long Quiz; Identities Kept Secret


A mass raid Thursday night on a farm near Horsham netted four persons who were questioned until 4 A.M. yesterday about the murder of an unidentified boy whose body was found in a cardboard box last February in Fox Chase.

Carried out by State, Montgomery county and Philadelphia police, the raid was made as a result of information given to Montgomery County District Attorney Bernard DiJoseph by an unidentified woman.




All of those questioned were released and DiJoseph said he felt they told him a "straight story" and that it was "nothing to get concerned about at this time."

However, DiJoseph, while refusing to disclose the "leads" given him by the informant, insisted that the case was still open and that his investigators would continue to work on the case.

Meanwhile, it was learned, the informant identified the section of blanket found in the box with the murdered boy. It was not learned how the blanket was linked to the farm.




The exact location of the farm and the identity of the six persons living there were not disclosed. DiJoseph said they were young and that none of them was related.

DiJoseph said the raid also produced a photograph of a young boy similar in appearance to the dead child. He said he had not yet identified the boy in the picture.

At the scene of the raid with DiJoseph were Police Commissioner Thomas J. Gibbons, Homicide Squad Capt. David H. Roberts, State Police Lt. George Sawyer and squads of plainclothesmen and uniformed officers.


Three of the Horsham suspects.

The fourth suspect was a man in his early twenties.