A major break in an infamous cold case was just announced by the New York Police Department via its official NYPDNews Twitter account: Police said they arrested Conrado Juarez, 52, of the Bronx, in connection with the murder of Anjelica Castillo, previously known as “Baby Hope,” some 22 years after the body of a 4-year-old girl was found stuffed in a cooler along the Henry Hudson Parkway.
NYPD have arrested Conrado Juarez, 52, of the Bronx in connection with the murder of #BabyHope, 4-yr-old Anjelica Castillo.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 12, 2013
At a press conference, police confirmed that Juarez is a male cousin of Baby Hope who lived with her in Queens during the summer of 1991.
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According to DNAinfo New York, Baby Hope was living her aunt -- Juarez’s mother -- when Juarez came home drunk one night, sexually assaulted her in a bathroom and killed her. His sister reportedly helped him put the body of Baby Hope into a cooler. The two covered the body with soda and ice, before driving to the Henry Hudson Parkway and leaving her at Inwood Park in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Her naked body was discovered there July 23, 1991.
The case had baffled investigators for decades until a tip came in about a woman in a launderette overheard talking about her dead sister who might have been murdered. After tracking her down, a DNA test revealed last week that the woman’s mother was also Baby Hope’s mother, which is when Baby Hope was positively identified as Anjelica Castillo.
According to CNN, New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said Juarez was arrested at a restaurant in Manhattan where he worked as a dishwasher. He confessed to Anjelica’s murder on Saturday morning.
“Today, NYPD investigators have given young Angelica her due justice,” CNN quoted NYPD Chief of Detectives Phil T. Pulaski as saying.