A suspect in the murder of a young Hispanic girl in 1991, a case that has intrigued the authorities for more than 20 years, has been arrested, the New York Police Department said.
Conrado Juarez, a cousin of the victim, was arrested on Friday and confessed that he sexually abused and then strangled Angelica Ramirez, who was 4 at the time of her murder, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The girl’s identity had been a mystery until last week, although authorities did not release her name until Saturday.
The 52-year-old Juarez was arrested at a Manhattan restaurant where he worked as a dishwasher.
Juarez confessed to police that on the day of the murder he went to the apartment where the girl lived with relatives in Astoria, Queens, where he raped and strangled her, Kelly said.
Afterwards, he and his sister Balbina - who is deceased - placed the body in a portable freezer, which they then took in a taxi and abandoned near a highway in Upper Manhattan.
The unidentified body of the little girl was dubbed “Baby Hope” by the police and the media.
The body remained in the morgue for more than two years until detectives working on the case paid for the little girl’s burial in a cemetery in The Bronx, where her remains lie beneath a headstone without a name.