It took 22 years for cops to track down the mother of Anjelica Castillo, the little girl left in a cooler on a New York highway, the little girl left to be known only as Baby Hope for decades. Anjelica's mother never reported the 4-year-old missing. But with the arrest of the little girl's suspected killer over the weekend, Margarita Castillo is finally coming out to talk.
And she wants us all to know that she is just devastated. DEVASTATED.
Castillo was quoted by the Daily News this week, saying:
You won’t understand the pain. We are just waiting for justice. We are not going to have peace.
I'm sure she won't have peace. Her daughter is dead, has been dead for 22 years. And now she has has to deal with a whole lot of press and attention, after 22 years of avoiding the spotlight.
That's got to be rough!
Do I sound callous? Yes, yes, I do. I know I do.
It's not that I don't have feelings about the death of a 4-year-old, a child who was sexually assaulted, a child who was murdered. Like stomach bile, the feelings are forcing their way up my esophagus.
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I'm disgusted by what happened to Baby Hope.
And I'm disgusted that the one person who was supposed to be there for her was not.
Let me be clear: there's no indication that Margarita Castillo was involved in her daughter's death. How the girl ended up with Conrado Juarez, the cousin accused of killing her, we don't yet know. The death of this little girl is on the suspect, not on the mother.
But the 22 years afterward, 22 years of her little girl lying in a cemetery plot under a headstone paid for by caring police detectives, in a dress paid for by a police detective's wife? That's on her. Her 4-year-old went missing, and she didn't tell anyone. Didn't beg the police for help. She left strangers to be the ones to care for her baby. Even when her daughter's picture was being spread far and wide by police, even when there was a city-wide initiative to bring her little girl justice, she did not come forward.
That I can't help but judge.
Margarita Castillo did not deserve to lose her baby girl. But if she does not have peace in her life right now, she needs to look inward and study her own part in this tragedy.
Do you feel bad for this mother? Should she have reported her little girl missing right away?
Image via NYPD