NYPD: Mother of 'Baby Hope' identified using DNA - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:37:51 GMT
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:18 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
  • Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:19:38 GMT
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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