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Mysterious relic possibly belonging to chief of police during Lindbergh kidnapping is found

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey State Police are searching for anyone who can offer clues behind a mysterious relic that may have ties to the early days of the department and one of the most famous cases of the 20th century.

The metal nameplate is engraved with the name “Col H.N.Schwarzkopf,” police posted on Facebook. It might have belonged to Colonel, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the first superintendent of the NJSP.

He is best known for being the chief of police during the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping case. The 20-month-old son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh was abducted and killed. In 1934, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in what many legal scholars consider one of the biggest trials of the century. The case inspired Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, often called  the “Lindbergh Law,” which made transporting kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.

“Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf laid the foundation upon which the NJSP still stands today, and it was he who set the established precepts of Honor, Duty, and Fidelity, the core values of a New Jersey State Trooper,” NJSP said.

The nameplate was found 50 years ago near property belonging to Charles Lindbergh. The family had kept it for decades, but it is now in the NJSP’s possession.

“We are looking for anyone who may be able to identify what this nameplate may have been used for such as a briefcase or a horse saddle,” they said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Recruiting Unit at 609-882-2000 ext. 2582.