Back in February, when “The Boy in the Box” was posted, a reader responded with the suggestion that the victim was homeless. This explained, he wrote, why the child lived and died without leaving any trace, “invisible, unknown, unrecorded, and un-missed.”
Recently, another reader took exception to the first reader’s assumption. According to Katie Sneeds, the complete and baffling anonymity of the child wouldn’t have to be the result of homelessness. It could easily be the collusion of several guilty consciences.
I think both writers have a point (and please don’t accuse me of trying to agree with everyone, or I’ll have to agree with you.) The child may have come from a family of immigrants or displaced persons who had entered the country without papers or official notice. He certainly might have become separated from his family. But he must have come from a home at some time. It’s difficult to imagine someone betraying the boy, selling him, or giving him away to be abused and discarded. But then, what other explanations can there be?
Ms. Sneeds adds:
“Someone knows who he is. Most likely more than one someone. They’re just not talking. Either bc they still don’t want to get invovled or bc they were involved and don’t want to get caught.
Some wife out there kept quiet bc she feared her abusive husband that did this or some husband remained quiet bc he wanted to protect his disturbed and abusive wife that did this. What a shame.”
Each day, the chance of finding a living witness becomes less probable. But 55 years is still within range of living memory for someone who knew about the betrayal of this child.
Just last week, a post by “Rutt” added this intriguing point:
“If the Lord wills, I MAY BE ABLE to help someday. My family rented our Phila home to some ‘out-of-towners’ who made my parents think they may be responsible. My parents died long ago, and this case came to my attention recently. I don’t know for sure, but I feel it is worth checking into.”
I urge the writer to pass along any information to a group of people who are trying to keep the case open. You can find them at America’s Unknown Child.
Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now