Transcript for Paul Fronczak: Brian Ross Hunts for New Clues in Old Case
Now, we're putting this 50-year-old cold case into hard drive. With little more to go on than a photograph of a new born baby and a sketch of the woman who snatched him. Will new clues emerge? Or new witnesses step forward? Here's abc's brian ross back at the scene of the crime. Reporter: When we arrived in chicago, the case was as cold as could be in a city notorious for its lake michigan wind chill. The hospital on the south side where paul fronczak was stolen has been shuttered, its records long gone. Do you have any further clues? No sir. Not at this time. Reporter: And the key detectives, even most of the reporters assigned to the story back then, are all dead. But there is one clue, and really only one clue, left -- this hospital photograph taken the morning the baby was stolen, at a day and a half old. So that's how we began our investigation. With artists at the national center for missing and exploited children trained in criminal forensics who create what are called age progression images. Steve loftin runs the unit. We've had good success. Especially with the long-term missing kids that have been gone 10 years or more. Reporter: It was this unit that worked on the case of the kidnapped jaycee duggard in california by creating an age progression image from a photo when she was 11 to what she would look like as a young adult, except for the hair color ,close to what she actually Reporter: So then what was the challenge when you got the assignment with paul fronczak? Obviously being an infant, that was the only picture we had available and it was the awkward angle of that image. Reporter: Artist colin McNally was assigned the task. Working from family photos of paul's parents and brother, it became a kind of jigsaw puzzle, fitting distinctive features from each of the family members into a blank face. I think the nose is the defining characteristic amongst all the family members. The deep-set eyes are another characteristic that I saw looking at the father's eyes next to the brother. Along with the mother's mouth and lips. And then for the first time what the real paul fronczak could look like from blank face to a handsome man in a dark shirt stolen from his mother's arms and does not know it. I think it is in the ballpark, yes. Reporter: Someone who looks like that? Yes. I would bet on it. Reporter: The last siting of the baby was at this intersection where a cab driver told police he dropped them off after picking them up at the hospital. 35th and halstead. The police went door to door looking for possible suspects. The search went for days in 1964, hundreds of officers and fbi agents were involved, and our consultant, former fbi agent brad garrett, says it is likely the kidnapper had some ties here, given past infant abduction cases. They tend to be from the community where they take the child. Reporter: So we did our own door to door canvas, with the image from the center for missing and exploited children, and another one produced by artists commissioned by abc news from the michigan firm phojoe.Com. Some of the old-timers in bridgeport remembered the case, and a few, the door to door search. There was handbills with the picture of the woman. Reporter: But that was about all. Once again on the air on our abc station in chicago, channel 7, to show the new age progression photos. Reporter: And within hours, the tips began to roll in. One viewer said the stolen baby was a chicago fireman and we'd find him at a station on the south side. Never heard of it. Reporter: Next, another viewer thought the owner of this suburban restaurant was the stolen baby. Reporter: Take your hat off, I want to see. No. Reporter: Not you? No. Reporter: But another lead gave us new insight into the woman who kidnapped the baby. She may have tried to steal another baby a few weeks earlier from the back yard of this home also on the south side of chicago. All of a sudden I heard my mother scream, "oh, my god. Oh, my god, that's her." And mom was pointing at the old black and white tv set saying, "that's the woman who was in our yard trying to take nicole." Reporter: Joan roehm was a teenager at the time and her niece nicole was 10 months old, in a baby carriage while joan's mother was taking the sheets from the laundry line. Mom immediately ran to the other side of the sheets and yelled at the woman, "what are you doing here? Get out of my yard!" The woman had taken the mosquito net off nicole's buggy and had her hands in the buggy, ready to grab nicole. Reporter: So she took off running? She took off running, yes. And my mother scooped that baby up and took it right in the house. Reporter: She says her family called the local police precinct, but there was never any follow up. Boy, that's really interesting. Reporter: When brad garrett and I went to las vegas to brief paul fronczak on the hunt, he was disappointed that so many of the leads were blind alleys. But convinced the drawings were still the best leads. Well, that one looks exactly like my mom and all her brothers. I mean, my mom was a croatian and that looks exactly like that drawing there. Reporter: And in fact, the drawings would lead us to a new batch of intriguing leads, several serious enough to conduct dna testing, with fbi agents eager to hear what we found. I could be paul. I might be paul fronczak. I do believe that there is a chance of me being paul fronczak
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