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GREEN VALLEY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

"Genealogy Today", by Betty Lou Malesky, CG
From the Green Valley News, Sunday 26 May 2013, page C2


DNA Reveals Truth about 1964 Kidnap Victim

DNA does not lie. DNA testing is used frequently today in solving police cases, paternity cases, and other legal battles involving personal identity. Now DNA has been used to "unsolve an old kidnapping case thought to be settled for the past 47 years.

A new born baby boy was abducted from the maternity ward of Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago in 1964. A woman dressed as a nurse had walked in, grabbed the baby and walked out. The following year a one year old boy was found abandoned in Newark, New Jersey. He was sent to a local orphanage by child welfare, and given the name Scott McKinley while authorities sought his identity.

The FBI the foundling's skin, blood, bones and ears and determined the one year old was the abducted baby, Paul Fronczak, because his ears matched those of the baby. Upon viewing the foundling, Dora Fronczak, the missing child's mother said, "That's my baby, and the case was solved. End of story. But wait . . .

Police still had doubts about the child's identity. So the Fronczaks officially adopted him so there would be no question that he was their child. As little Paul grew up he did not resemble his Polish/Croatian parents nor did he exhibit any of their physical characteristics. Evidently, this weighed upon him as he grew older. At the age of 49, he purchased a DNA kit for himself and one for each of his parents. All three took the tests and discovered Paul Fronczak was not a Fronczak at all. So who is he and what happened to the real Paul?

Paul had grown up happy and healthy with the Fronczaks, never questioning whether he was really their child. Then one day he found a box of newspaper clippings about the case that explained why he did not look like his parents. After he married, he shared his story with his wife. She thought it was crazy, that it couldn't possibly be true.

Time passed, Paul and his wife moved to Henderson, Nevada and had a daughter but the question of his past was always with them. He never was able to get any definitive answers. Last year Paul's parents came from Chicago to visit, and he asked them jokingly if they ever wondered if he was really their son. Then he broke out the three DNA kits.

A week later Paul received the shocking news. Now at the age of 49 he suddenly doesn't know who he is. He debated how to tell the Fronczaks and how to treat the other questions raised by the tests. Where is the real Paul Fronczak? And what about the kidnapper, who is still on the loose? Most important, who is the 49 year old man living in Henderson, Nevada? Paul is undergoing further extensive DNA testing in an attempt to learn more about his own identity.

He worries about the elderly couple who raised him and is appreciative of his good fortune in having them for parents and for being raised in a good, stable home. The Fronczaks, now in their 80's, don't feel his real identity is important. He will always be their son. They are just concerned that reporters will be hounding them again as they did when their child was abducted in 1964.

Paul hopes by bringing the DNA story into the open, the public may be able to help him find out who he is. Perhaps someone somewhere has information that may shed light on the case. He also notes his daughter was born in a hospital, but she never left his side, not once.


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