As new information continues to leak about the tragic murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, a 19-year-old pregnant mom of two last seen on April 23, the details are almost too horrifying to wrap your head around. Police have officially charged three suspects in the senseless killing, as well as the kidnapping of Ochoa-Lopez's baby boy, who was literally cut from her womb shortly after her murder. But just how their twisted plot began — and why — is a question that still plagues investigators and haunts the young mom's family.
On Wednesday, three suspects were arrested at a home on Chicago's Southwest Side, shortly after Ochoa-Lopez's body was found in the backyard.
The suspects, according to the Chicago Tribune, are 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa, her 24-year-old daughter Desiree Figueroa and her 40-year-old boyfriend, Piotr Bobak.
The trio reportedly live in the basement of the home on the 4100 block of 77th Place; the upstairs was occupied by Clarisa's elderly parents, Jose, 70, and Angelita, 60.
It was there that Ochoa-Lopez arrived on April 23, expecting to pick up free baby items from Clarisa after the pair connected in a Facebook group.
According to the Daily Mail, Ochoa-Lopez posted in the community group Help a Sista Out on March 5, writing:
"Hello ladies, I'm due May 10 and I still need a ton of things for my son. Due to the fact that I'm in school and can't work at the moment, I can't afford to buy the rest of the things since I’m short on cash right now."
One of the responses came from Clarisa, who claimed to be expecting a baby as well and offered to give the mother brand-new baby boy clothes for free. ABC News now reports that the swap took place shortly after and went well — which is likely why Ochoa-Lopez never suspected she was in any danger when she returned to the home once more on April 23 for more items.
Tragically, it was the last day Ochoa-Lopez would be seen alive.
Police now believe Ochoa-Lopez was strangled with a cable when she arrived at Figueroa's home before her son was forcibly cut from her womb.
The baby immediately showed signs of distress, and Figueroa called 911 claiming that she herself had just given birth at home and that her son was having breathing troubles.
When first responders arrived on the scene, they reported that the boy was "basically blue," because of an apparent lack of oxygen and administered CPR.
They had no idea just how brutal the little boy's birth actually was, or that his real mother's body was laying just yards away, concealed in a garbage bin in the back yard.
The newborn was rushed to the hospital, where he has remained for the last month on life support and has been declared brain dead.
This story is heartbreaking in so many ways, but sadly, it only gets more twisted.
Clarisa, who continued to pretend she was the baby's mother, continued to visit him at the hospital and dote on him, and reportedly set up a GoFundMe page where she asked for prayers and financial support in paying off his medical bills.
Although the page has since been removed, the Daily Mail obtained screenshots of what Clarisa wrote — and it might just send chills up your spine.
In it, Clarisa weaves a compelling and emotional story about the heart-pounding birth of her baby boy. The problem is, every word of it is a lie.
"Within moments, she gave birth to her son Xander at 7 lbs. as she called 911 and followed the instructions of the emergency dispatcher," the GoFundMe summary read. It also claimed that she suffered from preeclampsia, which she tied to her "harrowing" home birth ordeal.
And then finally, the fundraiser page stated that Clarisa and Bobak were "preparing to say goodbye to their baby boy" and had accepted that "Xander won't survive too much longer."
"Baby Xander, despite all he is going through is a little fighter, and has already captured the hearts of many family members," the page continued. "Honoring the short life that baby Xander had is one small way to help provide closure and start the mourning process for the family."
Knowing that these words are describing the heartbreaking struggle of Ochoa-Lopez's baby — whose injuries were caused by the brutal way he was forcibly born — is almost too much to comprehend.
Although not much is known yet about Clarisa, a neighbor shared that she herself had grown wary of the woman after an uncomfortable exchange.
"She told me how she was getting really attached to the baby, how she couldn't wait to be a mom again," the woman, who asked not to be identified, told ABC.
In addition to Desiree, Clarisa reportedly had an adult son named Xavier who died in 2017, which is likely why she named Ochoa-Lopez's baby Xander Xavier when she brought him to the hospital.
Police say the death of her adult son greatly affected her, though it is not known to what degree this may have influenced her current actions.
Meanwhile, evidence definitely seems to suggest Ochoa-Lopez's murder was part of an elaborate plot Clarisa had been planning for some time.
Other comments found in the Facebook group show that the 46-year-old had been pretending to be pregnant for several months, trying to connect with other moms due in May, likely to lure them to her home.
The Daily Mail reports finding a baby registry created by Clarisa, which has since been deleted, that lists her "due date" as the end of May. And on her own Facebook page, Clarisa reportedly posted a nursery photo from her home that included a mural with the name "Xander" written across the wall.
"Baby Xander's crib is set up, now we're just waiting for your arrival," one post reportedly read.
For now, Ochoa-Lopez's family are holding on to hope that her little boy will pull through, and are refusing to take him off life support.
But they're also tortured by what happened to the young mother and vowing to make sure justice is served.
"It's so hurtful, so hurtful to see the person, your wife, who you lived with for four years and now you see her with her eyes closed," her husband, Yovani Lopez, told reporters outside the medical examiner's office Wednesday.
“We’re going to have justice with those responsible,” he said. “We’re going to go hard after them. We won’t let it go.”
"[They are] in complete agony morning the loss of the child," a translator for the family, Julie Contreras, told the Daily Mail. "[She] suffered a horrific death at the hands of monsters."
The baby, who has since been renamed Yadiel by his father, remains in critical condition and has been medically declared brain dead.
Meanwhile, Clarisa and her daughter face murder charges, while her boyfriend, Bobak, is charged with concealing a body. They were due in court Friday.
* This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.*