Torn From The Headlines: New York Post Reports looks at the case of Anjelica Castillo, a four-year-old girl who was murdered in New York in 1991. Her remains were unidentified until 2013 when her cousin, Conrado Juarez, was finally charged with her murder.
In the 1990s, Genaro Ramirez vanished with two of his young children; their mother Margarita Castillo assumed that he had taken the kids back to his native Mexico.
However, he had left 4-year-old Anjelica with his two cousins Balvina Juarez-Ramirez and Conrado Juarez, in Queens, New York.
Later her body was discovered in a cooler, where it had been folded in half and bound in with a Venetian blind cord. The remains were badly decomposed, which left identification impossible; however, she was quickly nicknamed Baby Hope.
An autopsy ascertained that she was 3-5 years old, probably Hispanic, had been sexually assaulted, and was malnourished.
A funeral service was held with a eulogy given by a New York Police Dept. officer; “Baby Hope” was put on the gravestone.
The family never claimed the remains, and Anjelica was never reported missing.
It is thought the family failed to report Anjelica missing due to many family members being undocumented migrants who feared deportation if the authorities learned of their situation. Anjelica’s mother claimed to be scared and blamed language difficulties for not reporting her daughter missing.
A breakthrough came in 2013 when a witness came forward to say she’d overheard a woman saying that her parents had killed her sister. This led police to Margarita Castilo and a DNA test, which eventually identified Baby Hope as Anjelica.
Police arrested Anjelica’s cousin, Conrado Juarez, in 2013
Once the police began interviewing family members, they were led to Conrado Juarez. After lengthy interviews with the restaurant worker, Juarez eventually confessed to sexually abusing Anjelica before smothering her with a pillow. He was charged with felony murder.
He would later backtrack on his confession, claiming that the police had coerced him. He then claimed that he had only helped his sister, Balvina Juarez-Ramirez, dispose of Anjelica’s remains after she had fallen down some stairs.
The sister had since passed away from a stroke in 1995. Juarez died in police custody from complications due to pancreatic cancer while awaiting trial. He was 57-years-old and had been 30 at the time of the murder.
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In Fatal Florida, Cathy Cousins, and her next-door neighbor lover, Tim Koile, plotted to murder Cathy’s husband Sean Cousins and claim a considerable life insurance pay-out. However, Koile turned on his lover and testified against her.
Watch Torn From The Headlines: New York Post Reports at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.