March 8th, 1921. The body of a young child is found in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a town with approximately 13,000 inhabitants at the time. Whomever was the one to find the boy, saw him floating within one of the local ponds. The image, clearly a sad one, for some reason is seen as a painting in my head. The boy was estimated to be 5-7 years of age and was dressed quite well for the time: donning a gray sweater, black stockings, a blouse and leather shoes. His unfortunate cause of death was not due to drowning as one might come to expect being found in water. Inspection of the body found that the child was struck severely about the head with something blunt, body thrown into the water afterwards. He was missing a tooth but is unclear if it was knocked out or had fallen out. Authorities could also not determine the amount of time the boy had been in the lake. Due to the weather the boy could have been stranded in the water for months, remaining unseen and unbothered. Calls went out throughout the time, trying to find the parents of the child, any family for that matter but the calls went unanswered. No one claimed the child as their kin.
Giving a name to the boy would obviously be critical for authorities in identifying the young man as well as his murderer. The best course of action at the time would be for the local funeral home to display the child and allow authorities to watch the visitors. Still no leads filtered in. A reward of $1,000 dollars, equivalent to roughly $12,000 today, was also posted, and still no new leads trickled in.
The only potential lead that authorities received was from a man who worked near where the body was found. He claimed a frantic couple approached him a few weeks earlier asking if he had seen their son. The employee of the nearby company did not see any boy and the couple left, never to be seen again. Were these the parents of the boy and he had simply died of a tragic accident or did the father lose his tempter, going to far in an attempt to discipline his young son? Authorities may never know the true answer to the question.
There are two theories thrown out often. One being the potential for an abduction. Some theorize the boy had been kidnapped from another area in an extortion attempt. When the kidnappers were unable to get the money they killed the child and dumped him somewhere secluded.
The second theory is that the boy is actually a 6-year old boy who disappeared under suspicious circumstances from Milwaukee around the same time. The Milwaukee boy was known as Homer Lemay. His family claimed Homer had died in a car accident while in South America but there was never any record of the account found by detectives. I'm inclined to believe the second theory but so much time has passed it may be next to impossible to ever know the truth.
The death of the boy, who was known as "Little Lord Fauntleroy" remains unsolved. He was interred into a local cemetery after locals raised the funds for a marker and plot for the young child. He was laid to rest on March 17, 1921.