Today, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has taken the first step in solving a decades old mystery, by releasing a new age progression image of Jill Rosenthal, and what she could look like today, at age 58.
Jill’s story begins on Oct. 27, 1963, when she and her twin brother were born at a hospital in New Jersey. The babies, a boy and a girl, were named Jack and Jill Rosenthal. At some point between 1963 and 1965, both babies would be separated from one another. Baby Jack was left abandoned and what happened to baby Jill would remain a mystery. In fact, no one even realized that Jill disappeared until years later, when her twin brother gained national attention for his own unbelievable story.
To understand what happened to Jack, let’s go back to 1965.
That July, a toddler was found abandoned in a stroller in front of a department store in Newark, New Jersey. No one knew the boy’s name or where he had come from.
At some point, a police officer remembered the story about a baby stolen from a Chicago hospital the year before. The baby’s name was Paul Fronczak.
Paul Fronczak was only one day old when he was abducted by a woman disguised as a nurse in April 1964. The search for the newborn was the biggest manhunt in Chicago history at the time but no one could find Baby Paul and the case ultimately went cold.
So, when that unidentified toddler was found in New Jersey in 1965, cops believed they had found baby Paul from Chicago. Remember, this was almost 60 years ago, and DNA testing did not exist. They compared the shape of the child’s ears with an infant photo of Paul and felt confident in their identification. At the time, the shape of an infant’s ear was thought to be as unique as a fingerprint. The child was reunited with the Fronczak couple and raised as Paul Fronczak.
Although Paul lived a happy and healthy life, he was very young when he first began to question who he really was and those questions remained with him through much of his life.
Later, when at-home DNA kits became popular, Paul decided to take a DNA test. The results revealed he was not the biological son of the Fronczaks; he was not Paul after all.
With this stunning information, Paul began searching for his real name. Eventually, he got the help of investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore. She helped build out a family tree based on his DNA, which ultimately led to his true identity. His name: Jack Rosenthal.
This brings us to today. Jack, who still goes by the name Paul, has been on quite a journey. He’s learned that he has a twin sister, Jill, and he’s on a mission to find her.
Through conversations with his biological family members, Paul has discovered that he and Jill were abused and neglected as babies. While Paul was abandoned in that New Jersey parking lot, no one knows what happened to Jill.
Both his biological parents, Gilbert and Marie Rosenthal, are deceased now. Paul managed to track down Jill’s birth certificate, and he says many people remember the Rosenthal family and their twins.
New Jersey State Police have now opened a missing persons investigation and believe that Jill disappeared sometime in 1965, around the same time that Paul was found abandoned. Today, she would be in her later 50’s. Given that there are no known photographs of Jill, forensic artists at NCMEC created an age progression photo using images of family members.
Paul hopes that this new image will be the key to bringing Jill home. "I know she’s out there,” said Paul. “Someone is going to remember something. I really believe she is still alive. We just need to find her.”
Can you help find Jill Rosenthal? This new image is part of a mystery that YOU could help solve!
If you have any information about the disappearance of Jill Rosenthal or recognize the woman in the photo, please contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
Jill Rosenthal Missing Poster— https://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMC/1419009/1/screen
For more information on Paul Fronczak, visit his website here: https://www.foundlingpaul.com/
For more information on long-term missing cases and age progressions, visit NCMEC’s website here: https://www.missingkids.org/theissues/longtermmissing