Sunday, October 13, 2013

Juarez Charged For 4-year-old Castillo's Felony Murder

Conrado Juarez

Police say mother and family never reported Castillo missing.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 13, 2013

Manhattan, New York - On Saturday, Conrado Juarez, 52, of Bronx was arraigned and charged with felony murder for the 1991 homicide of Anjelica Castillo, 4, who for 22 years was only known as "Baby Hope." Juarez pleaded not guilty,  but had confessed to cold case homicide investigators that he sexually assaulted Castillo and then smothered her to death.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced that Juarez had been arrested on Saturday in Manhattan for the Castillo murder, whose nude body was found inside a cooler along the Henry Hudson Parkway on July 23, 1991. Castillo whose identity was unknown at the time was buried as "Baby Hope" 22 years ago.
"Public outreach, forensic investigation and old-fashioned pavement pounding led detectives to Juarez," said Police Commissioner Kelly, who was joined by the original case detective Jerry Giorgio (retired) and Chief Joseph Reznick, then a lieutenant who delivered Baby Hope's eulogy.
Her remains were identified through DNA last week, which identified her mother. A tip from a woman who says, another woman had told the woman that her sister might have been killed. She called police who later contacted the woman who thought her sister had been killed. Police were able to do a DNA test on Castillo's mother and a positive match came back. The DNA results in the Baby Hope case finally led police to her family.
Castillo's mother was out of the country at the time of her murder and didn't have custody when the child disappeared. Her two daughters including Castillo were in the care of her father and a relative. One daughter remained alive and Castillo went missing, but she was never reported missing by the family, according to police. 
The mother told police that she kept quiet for many years because she was afraid of her husband. The father is now being sought by police for questioning.
Juarez who is Castillo's cousin confessed that he murdered Castillo after sexually assaulting her and smothering her.
Her body showed signs of sexual abuse, malnourishment and being beaten while bound when she was found. Juarez's sister, Balvina Juarez-Ramirez of Astoria, Queens was also implicated in the homicide. She took care of Castillo, which Ramirez was her father's cousin.
Juarez met Castillo through Ramirez, his sister who is now decreased. Ramirez came up with the idea to put Castillo's body in a mini-cooler and then disposed of it, according Juarez.
They took a cab and then got rid of the cooler near the Hudson river. Some construction workers found the cooler after they smelled a foul odor coming from an area they were working at and then called police.
Detectives working in the case in 1991 donated money to buy her a head stone, which will now include Castillo's name.

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