Cousin admits to killing Baby Hope 22 years ago

New York police have arrested the cousin of a little girl who was found dead in a cooler 22 years...

New York police have arrested the cousin of a little girl who was found dead in a cooler 22 years ago. (NYPD)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 PM ET

New York police have arrested the cousin of a little girl who was found dead in a cooler 22 years ago.

Conrado Juarez, 52, of the Bronx was arrested Saturday in the Baby Hope case, NYPD said on Twitter.

Baby Hope has been identified as four-year-old Anjelica Castillo.

The New York Daily News reported police said Juarez admitted to sexually-assaulting the toddler, then smothering her before putting her body into a cooler.

Police said Juarez's sister, Balbena Ramirez, was caring for the girl at the time. She knew what had happened and it was her idea to hide the girl's body in the cooler. Ramirez has since died.

The girl's remains, dubbed Baby Hope, were discovered July 23, 1991. At the time, police said the girl was between three and five years of age, and the blue and white cooler was found in a wooded area. The cooler may have been placed in the area up to 10 days before it was found.

New York police announced on Tuesday they had identified the girl's mother after following through on a tip they received over the summer. Her identity was confirmed through DNA testing and she was cooperating with the investigation, they said.

After the girl's death, members of the police department paid for her funeral and many worked for years in hopes of identifying her or her killer.

"Today, NYPD investigators are giving young Anjelica her due justice," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

-- With files from Reuters


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