Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's family is hoping that her newborn son, who was cut from her womb after she was murdered last month, will survive, despite being in critical condition. A family spokesperson told NBC News that the baby, named Yadiel, still relies on a breathing machine.
Ochoa-Lopez, a 19-year-old from Chicago, disappeared in late April after leaving Latino Youth High School. Authorities said she was lured by 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree, who met the young woman on social media and promised her a stroller and baby clothes.
Once she met the mother-daughter duo in their Southwest Side home, they allegedly strangled her and cut her baby out of her womb. Police said Clarisa called 911 after removing the baby, saying she had given birth to the boy at home and he was “pale and blue.” The baby was transported to the Advocate Christ Medical Center and placed in the intensive care unit, where he remains. He reportedly opened his eyes for the first time on Sunday.
Last week, Ochoa-Lopez's body was found and authorities charged the Figueroas with first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Clarisa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, was also charged with one felony count of concealing a death and one felony count of concealing a homicide.
In a photo released by a family friend, Marlen's husband and Yadiel's father Yovani Lopez is holding his son. "We plead to God that he gives us our child because that is a blessing that my wife left for us," Lopez told reporters last week.
The Cook County Sheriff Office is also investigating whether Advocate Christ Medical Center violated state law by not reporting that Clarisa, who claimed to be Yadiel's mother, had not actually given birth. Hospital staff examined the woman, but it's unclear whether they explored why she didn't show signs of having just delivered a baby.
It wasn’t until May 9, several weeks after Ochoa-Lopez's death, that staff notified the Department of Child and Family Services about the newborn under suspicions that abuse or neglect was committed. Yadiel was taken into protective custody until a test matched his DNA to Ochoa-Lopez's and he was turned over to his father.
Ochoa-Lopez's funeral is planned for this weekend.
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