Baby Hope Case Baffles Cops for Two Decades


Phil Pulaski

Phil Pulaski

Phil Pulaski has 36 years of law enforcement experience. During his more than 33 year career with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Phil Pulaski managed patrol, investigative, counterterrorism, community affairs, traffic and other public safety operations. During March 2014, Phil Pulaski retired as chief of detectives of the NYPD where he was responsible for 3,600 personnel. It was during Phil Pulaski’s tenure as chief of detectives that the Baby Hope murder cold case was finally solved, 22 years after the crime was committed.

On July 23, 1991, a badly decomposed, naked and bound body of a 4-year-old girl was found inside a picnic cooler along the Henry Hudson Parkway. With nothing to identify her with, and no missing-person report, the police had no name, and her circumstances of death remained a mystery. Named Baby Hope, she was buried with the words “Because we care” inscribed on her tombstone donated by detectives.

Detectives from the NYPD Cold Case Apprehension Squad never gave up, however, and every year, on the anniversary of the body’s discovery, they would hand out flyers and ask information from people in nearby neighborhoods. Finally, an anonymous tip in July 2013 led to the arrest of Conrado Juarez, 52, who confessed to raping and killing the girl, a cousin named Anjelica Castillo. Her family included undocumented immigrants and did not report her missing for fear of deportation. Juarez was charged with felony murder and was subsequently convicted.