(Newser) – Police in New York City have made a breakthrough in a case that horrified the city in the summer of 1991. A toddler who became known as "Baby Hope" was found dead in a cooler by highway workers in Washington Heights, tied up and in a plastic bag.
The girl, believed to have been 3 to 5 years old, had been starved, sexually abused, beaten, and strangled, but was never reported missing. Now, thanks to a tip and DNA evidence, police believe they have identified the girl's mother, a law enforcement official tells the New York Times.
Police made a fresh push this summer to solve the case, putting up flyers in the neighborhood where the body was found and offering a $12,000 reward for information. The effort paid off when police received a tip from a woman who said she may have spoken to Baby Hope's sister, a woman who said her sister had been killed.
Police acting on that tip interviewed several people and were able to confirm the identity of Baby Hope's mother, but while the case remains a murder investigation, nobody has been charged yet. Police are questioning the suspected mother, the New York Post reports.