A man has been arrested in the death of a 4-year-old girl, whose body was found by the side of a road in New York back in 1991.
The New York Daily News reports that Conrado Juarez confessed Saturday to killing the girl and disposing of her body in a cooler with the help of his sister, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Juarez, a cousin of the girl, was charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.
The 52-year-old Juarez reportedly told police he sodomized and then quietly smothered the young girl with a pillow in a hallway at his sister’s home in Queens.
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After the girl was motionless, Juarez got the help of his sister Balvina Juarez-Ramirez, who is no longer alive. Juarez-Ramirez was caring for the girl and insisted they secretly get rid of her body, Kelly said.
The girl, who had been known only as ‘Baby Hope’ has been identified as Anjelica Castillo, New York police announced Saturday, according to CNN.
Construction workers found the body of Anjelica bound and in a garbage bag, hidden under some soda cans inside a blue and white cooler. She had been smothered and sexually molested, and her body was so badly decomposed that several sketches were made to suggest what she looked like. She had never been reported missing.
Retired Det. Jerry Giorgio, who worked on the case from the beginning, was thrilled with the news of the arrest.
"You know the expression, 'I'm on cloud nine'? Well, that's where I am right now," Giorgio told reporters.