Over 50 years later: Hunting for answers in Chicago hospital abduction

WGN Investigates

It was a case that captured national attention a half-century ago. A newborn baby abducted by a woman dressed as a nurse from Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital in 1964.  

Two years later, authorities brought a toddler who had been abandoned to Chicago because he had similarities to the kidnapped baby. Chester and Dora Fronczak raised him as their own.

“When I started this everyone said ‘don’t waste your time,’” said Paul Fronczak, who 8 years ago took a DNA test that proved he wasn’t that abducted baby.  And so began a hunt for the real Paul Fronczak and his own true identity.  “I remember they said ‘you won’t find Paul, you won’t find out who you are.'”

In late 2019, WGN Investigates tracked down the real Paul Fronczak. He was living in Manton, Michigan, not ready to speak publicly while he battled cancer.

Sources say he had recently learned of his true identity after one of his own relatives also took a DNA test. Now, we’ve learned the man who grew up not knowing his true identity has died; but not before talking to the biological mother he never knew.

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