A Henderson man’s search for his true identity and his birth family has produced exhilarating, but troubling results.
Paul Fronczak’s tumultuous tale was first reported by the I-Team four years ago and has since been re-told all over the world. Along the way, Fronczak learned that he had a twin sister, but like his namesake, she too vanished.
Gliding across a backyard in Atlantic City, a ground penetrating radar searches for clues. Paul Fronczak aka Jack Rosenthal is searching the property where his birth parents once lived, looking for his twin sister Jill.
“I had a radar sweep of the property done because I feel something happened to Jill and if something happened, they might have just buried her on the property,” said Paul Fronczak.
The radar indicated three areas of interest, and Paul grabbed a shovel to see what might be hidden.
“We got down about six feet. Water was starting to come up from the ocean and we found bones,” he said.
The bones weren’t human, so the search for Jill continues. The reasons for Fronczak’s dark suspicions are laid out in a new book about his journey over the last five years. It’s called “The Foundling.”
As a youngster, he was found on a sidewalk in Newark, New Jersey. Authorites had no idea how he got there or who he was. A year or so later, he was adopted by Chester and Dora Fronczak of Chicago, whose one-day old son Paul had been kidnapped from a hospital. Despite a massive search at the time, neither the baby nor the nurse who kidnapped him were ever located.
After our news reports in 2013 about Paul Fronczak’s DNA tests which prove he is not the missing baby, the FBI officially re-opened the case, but Paul says agents have done nothing since then. One of the original agents who worked the case has told him the lawmen knew in 1964 that the boy found in New Jersey wasn’t the real Paul, but allowed the heartbroken Fronczak’s to adopt him anyway.
“He even said back then, they were pretty sure Ii wasn’t the kidnapped baby but they wanted to close the story,” Fronczak said.
Paul’s life with the Fronczak’s was much different than what he may have faced if he remained with his now deceased birth parents, Gilbert and Marie Rosenthal. Since reconnecting with his blood relatives in the last year, he’s learned that the Rosenthals were abusive drunks. There is only one known photo of his mother and all the known photos of the twins were ripped out of family albums years ago.
“I’ve heard stories from relatives that I’ve actually met now. He actually kept my sister and me in a cage, in a dark room. We were screaming our heads off. Just abuse, just major abuse. They were not nice people,” Fronczak said.
At some point, the twins vanished. Half the family was told the kids were being cared for by the other half, and vice versa. Someone dropped Paul off in Newark, and there is no trace of Jill at all. A birth certificate proves she existed. A newspaper even reported the happy birth of the twins.
“I really think something bad happened to Jill, and they got rid of me to cover it up, instead of trying to explain one twin.
Paul knows he lucked out, and is now blessed with two families. But he isn’t giving up in his search for the real Paul. An age-progression drawing of his possible likeness is still being circulated. He plans to do something similar for his sister Jill, using a photo of their mother as the base. The book was written in part because of the many people who reached out to Paul during his search for himself.
“I’ve come across thousands and thousands of people who don’t know who they are, don’t know where to start, and don’t know what to do. I’m basically saying, don’t live a lie, you’ve got to know why you are the way you are and who you are,” he said.
Paule’s written a book about his journey. It’s called “The Foundling.”
Paul Fronczak will having a book signing Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 567 North Stephanie, Henderson.