Name returned to unidentified NYC baby
On Wednesday, May 7 we honored law enforcement from across the U.S. for their work to protect children. Check out all the case summaries on our blog.
An unidentified Hispanic female was found on July 23, 1991 along New York City’s Henry Hudson Parkway wrapped in plastic garbage bags and stuffed inside a cooler. She was estimated to be between 3-5 years old. Cause of death was ruled asphyxiation from smothering. Authorities named the child Baby Hope.
In the summer of 2005 the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner was asked to have the body of Baby Hope exhumed. Extracting usable DNA from the degraded remains of Baby Hope proved to be a daunting task. A full DNA profile was not completed and uploaded into CODIS until 2012.
In the summer of 2013, Detective Robert Dewhurst, NYPD Cold Case detective, revived the investigation and put the case back in the media spotlight. It was through his unrelenting push for publicity that he received the lead that led to Baby Hope’s identification. A caller reported that they knew the sister to Baby Hope. Authorities followed up on the lead and were finally able to identify the child as Anjelica Castillo.
Anjelica was 4 years old in 1991. She was never reported missing and therefore never entered into NCIC or listed with NCMEC. The investigation led to the arrest of Anjelica’s cousin, Conrado Juarez, on Oct. 12, 2013. He also implicated his sister, Balvena Juarez Ramirez, who allegedly helped dispose of the child’s body. Balvena is now deceased. Conrado was charged with felony murder.
Congratulate the New York Police Department.