Little Lord Fauntleroy (murder victim)
"Little Lord Fauntleroy"
Sketch of the victim
|Status||Unidentified for 98 years, 3 months and 18 days|
|Died||Autumn 1920 to February 1921 (aged 5–7)|
|Cause of death||Homicide by blunt-force trauma|
|Body discovered||March 8, 1921 |
|Resting place||Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|Height||3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)|
On March 8, 1921, the remains of a boy were found floating in a pond near the O'Laughlin Stone Company in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Authorities estimated he was between five and seven years old. He had blond hair, brown eyes and a tooth missing from his lower jaw. He had been struck with a blunt instrument. The boy could have been in the water for several months. He was dressed in a gray sweater, Munsing underwear, black stockings, a blouse and leather shoes; the clothing quality suggested the child was from an affluent family.
Police displayed his body at a local funeral home, trying to identify him; no one claimed the body. The boy was buried on March 17, 1921.
An employee of the O'Laughlin company said he had been approached by a couple five weeks before the body was found. The woman, who wore a red sweater, asked if he'd seen a young boy in the area. She was reportedly crying. The man accompanying her was seen watching the area where the child was located. They later left in a Ford vehicle and have never been found.
A possible scenario for the case is that Little Lord Fauntleroy may have been abducted from a wealthy family in another location and disposed of somewhere else to prevent his identification. After the investigation halted, money was raised by a local woman, Minnie Conrad, for the child to be buried at the Prairie Home cemetery, in Waukesha. She was later buried in the same cemetery in 1940 after she died at the age of seventy-three.
There were sightings of a woman, wearing a heavy veil, who would occasionally place flowers on the boy's grave. Some have speculated that this woman knew the actual identity of Little Lord Fauntleroy.
In 1949, a medical examiner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin suggested that investigators felt there may have been a connection between the unidentified boy and Homer Lemay, a six-year-old who disappeared around the same time the child died. Lemay was said by his father, Edmond, to have died in a vehicle accident during a trip to South America when he was being cared for by family friends (described as the "Nortons"), but there was no existing record of his death. Edmond Lemay stated that he learned of his son's death after receiving information from a South American newspaper that detailed the accident. He also was accused of falsifying his wife's signature while she was missing, but was later found not guilty. Detectives were unable to find any information about such an event or even the existence of the two Nortons.
- "WIM210308". Porchlight International for the Missing & Unidentified. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Case File 1377UMWI". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Little Lord Fauntleroy – Section 1 Lot 39 Grave 6" (PDF). Prairie Home Cemetery. 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Unidentified Boy". findagrave.com. 25 May 2001. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Faithful Woman Friend Follows Boy to Grave". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. 2 August 1940. p. 10. Retrieved 18 November 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- Godfrey, Linda S. (7 April 2005). Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets (First ed.). Sterling Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 0760759448. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Investigators may exhume body of 'Fauntleroy' Boy". Waukesha Daily Freeman. 19 May 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 18 November 2014.