NYPD arrests suspect in Baby Hope cold case

NYPD arrests suspect in Baby Hope cold case

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It was a case NYPD detectives never gave up on.

It was a cold case simply known as the Baby Hope case, and now her suspected killer--her cousin, is behind bars.  Police say there is finally justice for the little girl.

We now know her real name. Her name is 4 year old Angelica Castillo. And after more than two decades of searching for answers, police have a man in custody.

52 year old Conrado Juarez--a cousin of the girl's--allegedly confessed on Saturday.

During the interrogation, he had admitted sexually assaulting and smothering her.

Police say Angelica had been living with Juarez's sister in Astoria, Queens when Juarez killed her.

They say the brother and sister loaded the cooler with Angelica's body into a livery cab and then took it to the woods near the Henry Hudson parkway in Upper Manhattan where construction workers would eventually find it

Fast forward to 22 years later, this summer officers handed out fliers of Baby Hope, as they have on every anniversary since her death, but this time the efforts produced a solid tip that allowed them to track down Angelica's birth mother and eventually led them to Juarez, a dishwasher who lives in The Bronx.

He had nothing to say Saturday night as he was led out of the cold case unit in Brooklyn.

His arrest is especially gratifying to retired Detective Jerry Giorgio and Assistant Chief Joseph Reznick, both who tirelessly worked the case since the beginning.

“You know that expression I'm on cloud 9?” Giorgio said, “That's where I am now.”

Back in 1993 The detectives of the 34th precinct paid for baby hopes tombstone and it read ‘because we care.’

Joseph Reznick, who was a lieutenant back then, eulogized her at her funeral and once vowed he would not retire until the case was solved.

“Reflecting back on what we named this little girl, baby hope," Reznick said, “I think that's the most accurate name we could have come up with, it worked.”

NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the arrest a superb case of detective work, and he was proud of his officers. Juarez was being held on murder charges and was awaiting arraignment.

"For me, it makes you proud to be a member of this organization” Kelly said. “They were unrelenting."


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