NYPD: Mother of 'Baby Hope' identified using DNA - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

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>>

  • New York adults gather for skipping club

    New York adults gather for skipping club

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:36:57 GMT
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
  • Manhattan West Project

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:25:22 GMT
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
  • Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:51:49 GMT
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
  • LocalMore>>

  • Warrant for Robert Durst for urinating on a CVS candy display

    Warrant for Robert Durst for urinating on a CVS candy display

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:15:19 GMT
    Robert Durst who was found not guilty of his neighbor's 2001 murder, is accused of urinating on a counter here...no one knows why, but it's not the first bizarre thing he's done.
    Robert Durst who was found not guilty of his neighbor's 2001 murder, is accused of urinating on a counter here...no one knows why, but it's not the first bizarre thing he's done.
  • Disabled Child Rejected By YMCA Camp, Mother Alleges Discrimination

    Disabled Child Rejected By YMCA Camp, Mother Alleges Discrimination

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:13:33 GMT
    Like most kids, 7 year old Blake Koch has a big time craving for summer camp and his Mom Jody was overjoyed to have found him one at the Creekside YMCA.It was a welcome that lasted for this little boy with Down Syndrome for just two hours."You need to come pick him up. He can no longer be in our program," recalled Jody.Jody was told Blake was no longer welcome because he didn't eat his snack quickly enough, ran away and refused to get off of an all terrain vehicle.Camp staff at Creekside clai...
    Like most kids, 7 year old Blake Koch has a big time craving for summer camp and his Mom Jody was overjoyed to have found him one at the Creekside YMCA.It was a welcome that lasted for this little boy with Down Syndrome for just two hours."You need to come pick him up. He can no longer be in our program," recalled Jody.Jody was told Blake was no longer welcome because he didn't eat his snack quickly enough, ran away and refused to get off of an all terrain vehicle.Camp staff at Creekside clai...
  • Houston Fireballs vs Houston Dynamo in Wheelchair soccer

    Houston Fireballs vs Houston Dynamo in Wheelchair soccer

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:33:33 GMT
    It's a sport not a lot of people have likely heard about.It's called power wheelchair soccer, and a group in Houston could become a household name after their big upcoming match on Thursday.The power wheelchair soccer team is called the Houston Fireballs. They will be going head to head against the Houston Dynamo.We talked with several of the athletes about how and why they got involved. Most say there simply aren't enough sports for those in wheelchairs. They also said, they don't want easy ...
    It's a sport not a lot of people have likely heard about.It's called power wheelchair soccer, and a group in Houston could become a household name after their big upcoming match on Thursday.The power wheelchair soccer team is called the Houston Fireballs. They will be going head to head against the Houston Dynamo.We talked with several of the athletes about how and why they got involved. Most say there simply aren't enough sports for those in wheelchairs. They also said, they don't want easy ...
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

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