52 Year Old Conrado Juarez Arrested in the 22 Year Old Murder Case of ‘Baby Hope’ … Victim Finally Named, 4 Year Old Anjelica Castillo
Finally after 22 years, the murder and sexual assault case of ‘Baby Hope’ has been solved …
52 year old Conrado Juarez has been arrested and charged and charged with the felony murder of “Baby Hope’. 22 years after 4 year old Baby Hope’s sexually abused and badly decomposed body was found inside of a cooler that was dumped in the woods off New York’s Henry Hudson Parkway, the victim finally has a name … Anjelica Castillo. According to police it was an anonymous tip that starting the ball rolling that lead authorities to Anjelica’s sister, now an adult. They then identified the woman believed to be the girl’s mother. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated it eventually led to Juarez and his arrest. ‘s arrest. Conrado Juarez was Anjelica’s cousin on her father’s side. According to Ray Kelly, Juarez has admitted to the crime.
The announcement of an arrest in one of New York City’s most notorious cold cases was especially relieving for two hardened investigators, who for 22 years had been working to identify the girl they nicknamed Baby Hope after discovering her body stuffed in a picnic cooler along a highway.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges, the original prosecutor in the 1991 case and now chief of the cold case unit, told a Manhattan judge that Conrado Juarez, 52, was charged with felony murder late Saturday.
The charge came shortly after police announced the Bronx man was a relative of the tiny victim, 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo. Police revealed her name for the first time earlier in the day.
Juarez, wearing a white short sleeve button-down shirt and blue pants, pleaded not guilty but said nothing else after he was remanded to custody. Attorney information was not immediately available.
Detectives from the New York Police Department’s Cold Case Apprehension Squad never stopped searching for answers in the case. Each year, on the anniversary of the July 23, 1991, discovery of her body, they would canvass nearby neighborhoods, handing out fliers and asking people for information.
It was an anonymous tip called in after the latest canvass in July that helped crack the case, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. It led detectives to Anjelica’s sister, now an adult; from there, they identified the woman believed to be the girl’s mother, he said.
“That individual’s actions were the catalyst for this most recent lead,” Kelly said, referring to Juarez’s arrest. He is Anjelica’s cousin on her father’s side.
Police arrested Juarez after questioning him near the Manhattan restaurant where he worked as a dishwasher, Kelly said. He was expressionless as police led him in handcuffs past reporters.
Juarez admitted to the crime Saturday morning, Kelly said.
UPDATE I: ‘Baby Hope’ case: Cousin confesses to sexually assaulting, killing toddler Anjelica Castillo more than two decades ago.
Conrado Juarez, 52, confessed Saturday to killing the girl and disposing of her body in a cooler with the help of his sister, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
His tiny victim, whose name had been a mystery for more than two decades, was identified for the first time as 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo.
Juarez, a dishwasher from the Bronx, told cops he sodomized and then quietly smothered Anjelica with a pillow in a hallway at his sister’s home in Astoria, Queens.
When the little girl went motionless, Juarez summoned his sister, Balvina Juarez-Ramirez, from another room, Kelly said.
Juarez-Ramirez, who was caring for the girl, insisted they secretly get rid of her body, Kelly said.
She brought him a filthy cooler — as the other family members living there remained unaware of the cruelty underway just down the hall, Kelly said.
Juarez and his sister, who is now dead, carried the cooler out of the apartment and took a black livery cab to Manhattan, where they dumped the icebox along a wooded stretch of the Henry Hudson Parkway.