Newsday/Anthony M. Destefano
A chance encounter between two women in a Washington Heights Laundromat sparked a fast-pacedNYPD investigation that led to the stunning discovery of the identity of Baby Hope, the childwhose decomposed and abused body was stuffed in a cooler near a Manhattan highway in 1991, sexuallyabused and bound.  The child was believed to be between 3 and 5 years of age.  Detectiveswere able to confirm the child’s identity after finding her mother with refined DNAtechniques that emerged in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks. 
The two women were talking about the Baby Hope case when one of them blurted out that wasmy sister.  This summer, when the posters reappeared, the woman remembered the conversationand confided to a friend who implored her to call police.  The father is believed to be aliveand is being sought for questioning.  The mother had an alibi that placed her out of thecountry when the child disappeared and she has indicated that Baby hope was in the care of herfather or another relative when she disappeared.
(New York)