The mother of the 4-year-old girl, known for years only as Baby Hope, was recently discovered. Police said she told them the father took her two daughters from her during a rancorous breakup in 1991, the New York Daily News reported.
"She believed the daughter was taken from her," a police source told the newspaper. "She said she made attempts to locate her and was unsuccessful."
Baby Hope's body was found near the Henry Hudson Parkway in Upper Manhattan in July 1991. She was naked and the body showed both physical and sexual abuse.
The little girl was buried as Baby Hope in St. Raymond's Cemetery in The Bronx in 1993. DNA testing in 2006 failed to find a match, but police got a new lead recently, a call from someone who had overheard another woman talking in a laundromat about a dead sister.
Police sources told the News the father may still be alive and living either in New York or Mexico. They said the mother had continued to hope the child was still alive even after she was reunited with her other daughter years later.