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.

The NYPD’s Commitment to Counterterrorism

NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau pic

NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau

Phil Pulaski has 36 years of law enforcement experience, and was Chief of Detectives of the NYPD for more than 5 years where he was responsible for 3,600 personnel. During his 33 year career with the NYPD, Phil Pulaski managed patrol, investigative, counterterrorism, community affairs, quality of life, traffic and other public safety operations. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Phil Pulaski managed the NYPD’s counterterrorism and weapons of mass destruction operations. He also supervised, together with his FBI counterpart, numerous terrorism related investigations including the 9-11 World Trade Center attack and October 2001 anthrax attacks. Phil Pulaski also was responsible for the NYPD programs involving (i) human and electronic intelligence collection operations; (ii) intelligence processing, analysis, and dissemination; (iii) counterterrorism technology evaluation; (iv) critical infrastructure risk assessment and protection; and (v) counterterrorism training.

The NYPD is America’s largest police department, with 53,000 employees and a $4 billion operating budget. NYPD police officers have brought crime in New York City to an all-time low. In addition to crime fighting, the NYPD must be constantly vigilant to protect New York City from terrorist attacks. Consequently, significant department resources are committed to fighting terrorism.

Terrorism has evolved since 2001, and after the Paris attacks by ISIS in 2015, the NYPD created the anti-terrorism Critical Response Group unit. The 500-plus officers of the unit are working to uncover a range of terrorist attacks that could use anything from knives to trucks to bombs or biological weapons. The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau, includes the Joint Terrorism Task Force, an innovative partnership between the NYPD and the FBI to improve terrorism detection and prevention. The department also created several specialized groups to focus on the many faces of terrorism. Each group implements different counterterrorism programs including emergency preparedness, public safety, harbor security, and weapons of mass destruction countermeasures.