New York City murder victim Baby Hope has haunted the city for 22 years, since her emaciated, beaten, and sexually abused little body was discovered discarded in a cooler at the side of the Henry Hudson Parkway in Upper Manhattan in 1991.
Across the years, exhaustive efforts by the NYPD have been made to find Baby Hope’s name and learn not only who killed her — but who likely made her life before the murder a living nightmare.
Baby Hope was starved, bound, and evidence from her body seemed to confirm she’d been sexually abused at the hands of her captor. And now, as witnesses finally step forward, it seems Hope indeed has a name — Angelica Ramirez.
Just the name alone brings comfort to the NYPD, and many officers mourned the slain girl while spending years on the case trying to locate her killer. Eventually, years after she was brought to the morgue, Hope was laid to rest without a name — just a vow to find justice for her.
As technology developed, Baby Hope’s case would frequently be exposed to new eyes. And in the summer of 2013, the focus paid off — the New York Times explains:
“This year’s effort jogged the memory of a woman. She phoned the police, recalling a distant conversation in which another woman spoke of a younger sister who had been murdered.”
The paper spoke to retired cold case detective Joseph Pollini about the long-awaited break. Pollini said that while evidence degrades over time, people often become stronger:
“People think that time works against you, and that’s true in terms of the preservation of the evidence… But sometimes, as time goes by, people come forward. They’ve been holding it back for years and years and years and they get to release it.”
The father of Baby Hope, or Angelica Ramirez, is wanted for questioning in her death, but has not yet been located by police — who believe the man may be in Mexico.