THE BRONX - An arraignment date of Nov. 21 was set today for the Bronx man accused in the 1991 "Baby Hope" case.
Conrado Juarez, of University Heights, has been charged with the sexual assault and murder of his cousin, 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo. Investigators say he suffocated the young girl and left her body in a cooler on the side of the Henry Hudson Parkway with the help of his late sister.
The case went cold, with detectives reminding the public for more than 20 years about the unidentified victim on the anniversary of her death.
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Police broke the case earlier this month thanks to a tip and DNA sampling. They were finally able to identify Baby Hope, and say Juarez confessed to the killing. However, reports now say that he claims he was coerced and is innocent.
Attorney Michael Croce says Juarez’s confession to the crime is not to be trusted since it came after he was in custody for hours.
"I don't trust any statements that were made by any individual after being in custody for such an extended period of time,” said Croce. “I would expect that we will find out that that statement was not videotaped or recorded, and that's by design."