Saturday came with the investigative staff of Baby Hope being able to announce they had finally made an arrest, the suspect being Conrado Juarez, age 52. He is believed to be Baby Hope’s alleged killer. This comes after 22 years of following and searching this cold case.
The body of Baby Hope, now known to be Anjelica Castillo, 4 years of age, was found stuffed and folded inside a blue Igloo cooler at the edge of a tree just north of Hudson Parkway. She was discovered on July 23, 1991. The young child would become known as Baby Hope to the entire city of New York and was the 79th homicide that year out of what would be over 2,000.
Ray Kelly was deputy commissioner of the NYPD back then, and during a press conference given on Saturdaym Kelly stated that particular homicide affected everyone who came in contact with it. He spoke about the police sketches of Anjelica. How the girl’s body was found in the cooler along the Parkway in such an odd fashion and how even though all the other murders seemed to run together that year yet hers was different. It was because she was just a little girl and what had been done to her. Also because of what the detectives saw when they opened up the cooler. It was a brutal crime that haunts them to this day. They wondered what kind of monster could such a thing.
That alleged “monster”, Conrado Juarez was arraigned on Saturday in Manhattan Criminal Court for the alleged murder of 4-year-old Anjelica, still better known as Baby Hope.
The police continued at the press conference saying that making this arrest after all the time that had passed made them want to cheer, to shout.
Conrado Juarez allegedly admitted to the sexual abuse and murder of Anjelica Castillo.
With that announcement starts to bring some closure of the 22-year case which started in the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights, a case that the strong and firm detectives of this city refused to give up on, a tragic case about a tiny girl that they treated like one of their very own.
As the years went on, cops from all over the city of New York left flowers at the gravesite of the murdered child, which the police had purchased for her.
The lead investigators had been working the cold case again this summer, and this time for some reason they ended up getting lucky. They ran into a woman who recalled a discussion from years ago. It was about a different woman discussing a relative of hers, a little girl who had been murdered. The detectives jumped on this and quickly got back into the swing of things. They looked for the woman who had lost her family member. This led to them twenty-two years later finding the mother herself of little Anjelica, and actually discovering her real name.
With that, they were then able to find the alleged killer. This finally means there will be justice for Baby Hope… justice for Anjelica now. She can rest because her alleged killer has been arrested and maybe finally can receive the punishment he so deserves for taking away her hope at ever having a life.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble