An arrest has been made in a case involving an unidentified 4-year-old girl known as “Baby Hope” whose decomposing body was found in a cooler along the Hudson River in New York City in 1991, DNAinfo New York reported.
The relative who was taken into custody confessed to the murder, NBC New York reported. No other information about the arrest has been made public, though sources told DNAinfo that a male cousin of Baby Hope was taken into custody and is expected to be charged in connection with her death. The cousin allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting and murder the child while intoxicated, the sources told the website.
Police found the child’s body, which had evidence of sexual abuse and was deformed from being placed in the cooler under cans of Coca-Cola, after a construction worker noticed a foul smell coming from the cooler about 50 feet down a hill. Police opened a hotline and followed multiple leads, but were ultimately unable to find a suspect until this week.
Officials renewed their investigation this summer, and received a tip from a source who had overheard a woman in a laundromat talking about her dead sister. The tip led police to the woman and her mother.
A law enforcement source told NBC New York the mother was identified as the mother of “Baby Hope.” Police learned the real name of the girl, Angelica, and that the mother suspects her husband killed their daughter. She allegedly said she was afraid to go to police.