NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are offering a reward in connection with a 1991 cold case in hopes that someone will come forward with new information.
It was 22 years ago Tuesday when police found the body of a young, unidentified child inside a blue and white cooler in a wooded area on the Henry Hudson Parkway and Dyckman Street.
The cooler may have been placed there any time between July 13, 1991 and July 22, 1991, police said.
“Unfortunately, what they found inside was the young girl who we’re trying to identify. We don’t know her name. We don’t know where she came from,” NYPD Cold Case Squad Det. Robert Dewhurst told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
But detectives are hoping someone in the Inwood neighborhood knows something about the little girl.
“This case has always been open. Several great detectives have worked on this case, it’s just we’ve never identified her and identifying her is key to finding out what happened to this little girl,” said Dewhurst.
CBS 2’s John Slattery spoke to Inwood residents on Tuesday and many of them remembered the case.
“I remember. They never solved the case. Wonder who she is,” Irma Graven said.
Graven wasn’t the only one to flash back to the gruesome discovery. Max Madera was another.
“They said they found a little girl in a cooler. Never solved,” Madera said.
“I don’t think they ever identified the little girl, and never been able to find out why it happened,” resident Mike William added.
The girl, believed to was white or white-Hispanic and between the ages of 3 and 5, was later dubbed “Baby Hope” and her murder has never been solved, police said. The body was extremely malnourished and weighed only about 25 pounds. People in the area said they support the effort to solve the case.
“It’s a good thing. Worth the effort. Always worth pursuing,” Inwood businessman Steve Lastella told Slattery.
Crime Stoppers plans to be in the area where her body was found Tuesday handing out flyers with information in an effort to solicit new tips in the case.
The flyer includes a sketch of Baby Hope that was released in 1991 as well as an age-progression sketch of what she might look like today. There is also a photo of the cooler.
A $12,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Baby Hope’s death.
Police think that posters and the monetary reward may bring up more memories, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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