Pharos-Tribune

Columns

October 24, 2013

CEPEDA: The wrong focus on Baby Hope

As the horrifying details emerged in the Baby Hope case, the 22-year-old mystery of the little girl found dead in a cooler on the side of a Manhattan highway, I felt like shouting, “This is not about unlawful immigrants.”

Baby Hope has now been identified as Anjelica Castillo, who was 4 years old when construction workers found her body on July 23, 1991. Detectives on the case then spent two decades trying to find her killer or her family — the girl had never been reported missing.

After an annual awareness drive sponsored by New York police, detectives found a woman who led them to the girl’s family. The family members, immigrants from Mexico and some of them living in the country illegally, helped police track down the victim’s cousin, who confessed to sexually abusing and murdering Anjelica and then dumping her body with the help of one of his sisters.

I was sure the Baby Hope case would be used by both the left and the right to “prove” their long-standing beliefs about immigration. Sure enough, news coverage and blogosphere chatter spread predictably. Some led with the immigration status of the child’s killer to reinforce the view that unauthorized immigrants are violent criminals, while others made the story the center of their umpteenth pitch for why local police should not cooperate with immigration officials.

The blog ThinkProgress.org point-blank said that the victim’s mother, Margarita Castillo, did not go to police for fear of deportation.

But ThinkProgress doesn’t know that. No one really knows what circumstances led an entire family to remain hushed about the mysterious disappearance of a young child.

When she went missing, the little girl was living with seven family members, none of whom ever came forward with details about her disappearance until the 22nd annual community outreach effort by the detectives who were still dogging the case.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • WOLFSIE: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 18, 2014

  • PETERS: Grizzly bear may help human medicine I've gained 5 pounds since last summer. My body mass index (BMI) is still fine, but I need to stop gaining to keep it that way. Grizzly bears put my weight gain to shame. In the late summer, they eat some 50,000 calories per day and gain more than 1

    April 18, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.