The child’s body was found in a wooded Washington Heights area in 1991
October 13, 2013
Police say they have solved the 22-year-old mystery of “Baby Hope,” the child whose body was found dumped in a cooler in the woods in upper Manhattan in 1991, announcing the arrest Saturday of a cousin they say sexually assaulted and smothered the 4-year-old girl.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said 52-year-old Conrado Juarez was visiting relatives, staying at his sister’s house in Queens, when he attacked the girl, whose real name is Anjelica Castillo.
Juarez allegedly told police on Friday that when Anjelica went motionless, he summoned his sister into the room, and she ordered him to get rid of the body, bringing him the cooler. The pair then took a livery cab to Manhattan from the sister’s Queens home, and dumped the cooler, he said.
It was not clear if he had a lawyer. Kelly said Juarez’s sister is no longer alive.
The girl’s body was found by construction workers on July 23, 1991 along the Henry Hudson Parkway near Dyckman Street.
Her identity was not known until this week. Detectives in the cold case had even paid for her headstone, inscribing it with the message “Because We Care,” Kelly said.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement Saturday that investigators never gave up.
“They made it their mission to identify this young child, to lay her to rest and to bring her killer to justice,” he said.