Baby Hope got a step closer to justice yesterday, with the NYPD charging a relative of her father in her 1991 murder. Conrado Juarez, 52, confessed to sexually assaulting the little girl—who was recently identified as Anjelica Castillo—while he was drunk one night, and then smothering her, reports DNAinfo. A sister who has since died reportedly helped him hide Anjelica's body in a cooler, which they left on the side of the Henry Hudson Parkway; it was found by construction workers on July 23 of that year.
Juarez, who is thought to be a cousin of Anjelica's father, was arrested at the New York City restaurant where he works Friday; he was charged yesterday. "Cold cases are not forgotten cases. Today's arrest of the man charged with killing Anjelica in 1991 is an extraordinary example of police work," said DA Cy Vance in announcing the arrest. A detective who had worked the case until his retirement this summer tells the AP, "You know the expression I'm on cloud 9? Well, that's where I am right now." (Read more Baby Hope stories.)