NYPD: Mother of 'Baby Hope' identified using DNA - Fox 2 News Headlines

NYPD: Mother of 'Baby Hope' identified using DNA

Posted: Updated:

VERENA DOBNIK | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — In a dramatic break in a cold case more than two decades old, investigators used DNA to identify the mother of a dead child known only as Baby Hope, police said Tuesday.

The New York Police Department received a tip from someone after a publicity push over the summer, police officials said. The tip led to the woman, whose name was being withheld amid a homicide investigation.

"A DNA match was made with the mother, and the mother is cooperating," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Tuesday.

Kelly declined to discuss the case further as investigators try to determine the circumstances of the 3- to 5-year-old girl's death.

"Obviously, homicide is a distinct possibility here, so we're going to go forward in that direction," Kelly said.

Besides the mother, police also were speaking to other people. No official suspects have been named.

The case dates to July 23, 1991, when a road worker smelled something rotting and discovered the girl's remains inside a picnic cooler along the Henry Hudson Parkway. Her body was unclothed and malnourished and showed signs of possible sex abuse.

Detectives theorized at the time that she had been suffocated before being dumped like garbage on a grassy incline. They estimated she was dead six to eight days before the cooler was found.

In an interview in July, retired Detective Jerry Giorgio said he had pursued hundreds of leads but none panned out. He had the case from 1991 until he retired from the force. Later, as an investigator for the Manhattan district attorney's office, he kept up with it. His name and contact information are still on a website dedicated to the girl.

"It was so frustrating," he said recently. "We initially thought we'll get her identified and go from there and probably solve the case. It didn't happen."

As the frustration mounted, so did detectives' affection for the victim. They began calling her "our baby." Eventually she became "Baby Hope," because they hoped and prayed they'd solve the case, Giorgio said.

Giorgio was instrumental in organizing a 1993 funeral for the girl that was attended by hundreds. The girl was dressed in a white frock and buried in a white coffin.

Her body was exhumed in 2007 for DNA testing, but none could be extracted because of its poor condition. After a second attempt was made in 2011 using better technology on bone material, a DNA profile was developed, police said Tuesday.

___

Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Etan Patz murder confession played in court

    Etan Patz murder confession played in court

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:43:37 GMT
    A judge allowed a confession tape to be played in court in connection with the case of Etan Patz, who vanished in 1979. On the tape, Pedro Hernandez described how he killed Patz. But his lawyers say Hernandez falsely confessed and doesn't understand his rights. Before Hernandez's videotaped confession was played, Patz's mother quickly left the courtroom unable to watch the video.
    A judge allowed a confession tape to be played in court in connection with the case of Etan Patz, who vanished in 1979. On the tape, Pedro Hernandez described how he killed Patz. But his lawyers say Hernandez falsely confessed and doesn't understand his rights. Before Hernandez's videotaped confession was played, Patz's mother quickly left the courtroom unable to watch the video.
  • NJ, NY officials meet about security

    NJ, NY officials meet about security

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:50:11 GMT
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices