The mother of Anjelica Castillo, known to many as "Baby Hope," opened her doors to NY1 Tuesday and discussed many of the unanswered questions in the case. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
Margarita Castillo, the mother of "Baby Hope," said she still remembers thinking that one day, she'll find her daughter.
"I thought my daughter would show up one day, maybe with other people," she said through an interpreter.
By "other people," Margarita Castillo means her daughter Anjelica's father and his family. She said that after she separated from him, he took the little girl away, and that's when her nightmare began.
Questions have been raised about why Margarita Castillo never called police after the 4-year-old went missing 22 years ago. She said she was scared.
"I was ignorant and afraid to go the police station without knowing the language of this country," she said through an interpreter. "I come from a town where there is no justice, where they do whatever they want. And we got here ignorant of how this country operates."
Anjelica's body would eventually be found inside a cooler near the Henry Hudson Parkway. Detectives say she was tortured and sexually assaulted before she was killed.
A tip just this year about an overheard conversation led police to Anjelica's second cousin, Conrado Juarez. They say he admitted to killing the girl.
Juarez remains in custody after pleading not guilty at his arraignment last weekend.
With tears in her eyes, Anjelica's mother described the moment she learned her daughter was gone forever.
"When the detectives got here, they showed me pictures," she said through an interpreter. "That's where all the hope was lost that one day, a child would maybe turn up as a grown up."
Castillo said she still hopes that justice for her daughter will be served when Conrado Juarez stands trial.