NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For 22 years, the identity of a little girl whose malnourished body was found stuffed inside a cooler in upper Manhattan remained a mystery.
Now, the girl who came to be known as “Baby Hope” has a name.
A law enforcement source told the New York Post that the child’s real name was Angelica Ramirez.
The discovery was made after police tracked down the girl’s mother following a renewed effort to get information in the case in July.
Police handed out posters and flyers featuring a composite sketch of what the child – estimated to be between 3 and 5 years old when she died — might have looked like and offered a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
This summer’s efforts got results.
A tip came in to the Crime Stoppers phone line and that bit of information led detectives to the mother of the child.
Law enforcement officials were able to match the child’s DNA last week.
The mother told detectives an abusive ex-husband had run off with her two daughters — Angelica and an older girl — in 1990.
Detectives are now trying to locate the father.
Detectives from the 34th Precinct were the ones that named the child “Baby Hope” and pitched in with their own money to buy the girl a headstone and cemetery plot at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx in 1993. They plan to change the name on the headstone to her real name.
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