NEW YORK -- NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of killing his 4-year-old cousin, known for two decades only as "Baby Hope," was indicted Tuesday in one of the city's most haunting cold cases, as his lawyer continued to question a police confession that sealed the man's arrest.

Conrado Juarez, a 52-year-old kitchen worker, remained held without bail and wasn't in court as prosecutors said a grand jury decided there was enough evidence to continue charging him in the girl's death. His lawyer had decided Juarez didn't need to be at the brief proceeding.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges didn't disclose the specific charge or charges, which is typical in Manhattan at this stage of the prosecution.

Juarez was arraigned earlier this month on a charge of murder, one of the few offenses with no statute of limitations in New York state.

The child's body was found in 1991 in a cooler alongside a Manhattan highway. Juarez would have been about 30 at the time. Afterward, detectives nicknamed the then-unidentified child "Baby Hope," helped arrange her burial and paid for her headstone.

Police marked the 22nd anniversary of the discovery of her body by putting up fliers and announcing a $12,000 reward for information. A tip then finally led investigators to her name — Anjelica Castillo — and to Juarez's arrest this month.

Police and prosecutors say Juarez confessed to sexually abusing and suffocating Anjelica. At the time, the girl was living with his sister. The sister has since died.

Juarez later told newspapers that the girl died accidentally and that he only helped his sister dispose of her body. He said detectives pressured him into saying he killed her.

His lawyer, Michael Croce, has underscored that Juarez's statements to authorities came after about 12 hours of interrogation and that prosecutors have yet to disclose whether any DNA or other physical evidence ties him to the girl's death.

"I don't trust any statements that were made, by any individual, after being in custody for such an extended period of time," Croce said after court Tuesday.

Juarez is due back in court Nov. 21.

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  • This undated image of a poster provided by the New York City Police Department seeks help identifying the victim dubbed "Baby Hope." On July 23, 2013, the 22nd anniversary of the discovery of the body of a young girl inside a cooler in Washington Heights, police offered a $12,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in the unsolved crime. Officers put up posters in the neighborhood and handed out fliers with sketches of how the victim might have looked. (AP Photo/NYPD)

  • ADDITION-US-MEXICO-HOMICIDE

    CAPTION ADDITION - The grave of 'Baby Hope,' an unidentified girl whose body was found murdered in a picnic cooler 22 years ago, is adorned with flowers at St. Raymond Cemetery in New York, October 11, 2013. New York police have at last identified a little girl who was murdered, sexually abused and stuffed into a picnic cooler in Manhattan. She was found on July 23, 1991. New York police officials confirmed the identity of the girl's mother through DNA testing on October 8, 2013, and also identified the father. New York Police Deaprtment said on October 12, 2013 they had arrested the cousin of a little girl, Baby Hope, who was sexually abused, murdered and stuffed into a picnic cooler in New York more than 20 years ago. Conrado Juarez was apprehended October 11, 2013 and confessed early Saturday morning to the crimes committed against four-year-old Anjelica Castillo, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FILE - In this July 23, 2013, file photo shows a poster soliciting information regarding an unidentified body near the site where the body was found in New York. Police in New York City said Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, that they had arrested the killer of a child who was nicknamed Baby Hope by detectives after her body was discovered inside a picnic cooler beside a Manhattan highway in 1991.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

  • Jerry Giorgio, Ray Kelly

    Former NYPD detective Jerry Giorgio smiles alongside Commissioner Ray Kelly, right, after a news conference at One Police Plaza where it was announced that after an investigation that lasted more than two decades they had arrested the killer of a then unidentified child who was nicknamed Baby Hope, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in New York. During an interrogation early Saturday, the 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo's cousin, Conrado Juarez, had admitted sexually assaulting and smothering her, Kelly said. Giorgio, who had the case from 1991 until his retirement over the summer, said he remained confident the case could be solved. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Conrado Juarez

    Conrado Juarez, 52, waits to be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court for the alleged murder of 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo, nicknamed "Baby Hope", Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in New York. Castillo's body was discovered inside a picnic cooler beside a Manhattan highway in 1991, resulting in a decades old investigation that led to Juarez's arrest and admission that he sexually assaulted and smothered her. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)

  • Conrado Juarez

    Conrado Juarez, 52, is arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court for the alleged murder of 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo, nicknamed "Baby Hope", Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in New York. Castillo's body was discovered inside a picnic cooler beside a Manhattan highway in 1991, resulting in a decades old investigation that led to Juarez's arrest and admission that he sexually assaulted and smothered her. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Conrado Juarez

    Conrado Juarez, 52, is arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court for the alleged murder of 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo, nicknamed "Baby Hope", Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in New York. Castillo's body was discovered inside a picnic cooler beside a Manhattan highway in 1991, resulting in a decades old investigation that led to Juarez's arrest and admission that he sexually assaulted and smothered her. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)

  • The headstone of Baby Hope now bears her real name, Anjelica Castillo, on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in the Bronx borough of New York. A distant cousin of Castillo was charged with murder this weekend after a break in the two-decade old cold case. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • Conrado Juarez

    FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 Conrado Juarez, cousin and confessed killer of 4-year-old Anjelica Castillo, nicknamed Baby Hope, waits to be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York. Juarez tells The New York Times that Anjelica Castillo died in a fall down the stairs. The police say Juarez confessed to assaulting the child and smothering her with a pillow to stifle her screams. Juarez told the Times his confession was coerced. The 52-year-old kitchen worker was arrested last Friday on a charge of second-degree murder. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)