Details of Disappearance
Joseph lived with his aunt, Pauline Rodriguez, in 1936; she'd raised him since birth. They lived in the 1600 block of Park Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City. His mother, Dora Olivo, lived within walking distance, in the 1300 block of Fifth Avenue.
On September 6, 1936, Pauline left Joseph with a neighbor for the day. The neighbor took him down the street early that afternoon to play with other children. When Joseph's babysitter returned later, she couldn't find him. He has never been heard from again.
Joseph's aunt received a telegram on September 12, six days after his disappearance. It stated: "Joseph will be back on Wednesday. Doctor will not let me move him."
Many reports are that the telegram was anonymous, but it was in fact signed with a name Pauline didn't recognize. The name on the telegram has never been publicly released. There was no further communication from the writer and Joseph never returned to his aunt's Spanish Harlem residence.
Joseph's case is one of the oldest in the New York Police Department's files. His disappearance remains unsolved.