New York "Baby Hope" Cold Case Ends in Arrest of Her Cousin 22 Years Later

Detectives finally have closure as the 22 year old cold case of "Baby Hope" comes to an end with the arrest of her cousin who has admitted to abusing and murdering the 4-year-old.

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The young girl known only as “Baby Hope” has a name now that her abuser and murderer has been arrested 22 years later.

The body found in an ice chest on the side of the Henry Hudson Parkway in 1991 was that of Anjelica Castillo, according to New York police on Saturday.  Her body was badly decomposed, but it was evident that she had been smothered and sexually molested.

This week, police have apprehended the man who they believed killed her – her cousin, Conrado Juarez, 52.

Detectives from New York Police Department's Cold Case Apprehension Squad never stopped searching for answers in the 1991 cold case.  Every year on the anniversary of the July 23, 1991 anniversary of the discovery of the girl’s body, detectives would canvass the area near where her body was found, handing out fliers with her picture and searching for information.

"Over the years, the optimism was always there except the frustration would grow," said Detective Joseph Reznick to CBS News, who read Baby Hope’s eulogy at her burial. "I think reflecting back on what we named this little girl, Baby Hope, I think it's the most accurate name we could have come up with."

This year’s July canvass proved fruitful, and yielded an anonymous tip that helped the NYPD to locate Anjelica’s sister and a woman they believe to be the girl’s mother.  They then lead the police to Juarez, Anjelica’s cousin on her father’s side.

Juarez was arrested after police questioned him outside of the Manhattan restaurant where he worked as a dishwasher.  He admitted to the crime Saturday morning.

"Today, NYPD investigators have given young Anjelica her due justice," said Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski to CNN.

[Source CNN, CBS News]