Police arrest relative in ‘Baby Hope’ case

Detectives solved the decades-old mystery of “Baby Hope,” a little girl whose body was discovered inside a picnic cooler beside a Manhattan highway in 1991, and arrested a relative of the child Saturday after he admitted he sexually assaulted and smothered her, police said.

Conrado Juarez, 52, was arrested on a murder charge and was awaiting arraignment. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Juarez claimed he killed the girl at his sister’s apartment and that she helped him dispose of the body. The sister has since died, police said. They were cousins of the little girl’s father.

The girl’s name, age and circumstances of her death were unknown for more than two decades. But last week, police announced that a new tip and a DNA test had allowed them to finally identify the baby’s mother. On Saturday, they also revealed the girl’s name: Anjelica Castillo, age 4.

— Associated Press

Romneys permitted to build larger home

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, can demolish their beachfront home in a tony enclave near San Diego and build a larger 11,000-square-foot replacement, the California Coastal Commission ruled Friday.

A neighbor of the Romneys had sought to block the project on the grounds that the couple’s property in La Jolla was too small to justify a house of that size under regulations determining the ratio between lot and house sizes, according to documents before the commission.

The Coastal Commission voted 7 to 4 at a meeting in San Diego to deny the appeal and allow the project to go forward, said panel spokeswoman Sarah Christie.

The couple’s current house in La Jolla is 3,100 square feet, panel spokeswoman Sarah Christie said. The planned home would approach three times the size of the existing home.

— Reuters

Males tend to play down distracted-driving dangers: Do you think it’s all right to text and drive because you’re a great driver? If so, chances are you’re a guy. A study published in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management found that four out of five college students texted while driving, and that males were more likely to downplay the dangers of distracted driving, because they believed they were skilled drivers. “While male respondents widely agree that texting while driving is dangerous they also believe that they are better at texting while driving than other drivers,” the study said Garold Lantz and Sandra Loeb.

The authors, who are both marketing professors at Kings College, in Wilkes Barre, Pa., surveyed 120 male and female students on their texting habits, as well as their views of the practice.

— Los Angeles Times