Woman sentenced to 50 years in murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez

CHICAGO — Clarisa Figueroa, the woman accused in the killing of a pregnant woman whose baby was cut from her womb in 2019, was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years in prison.

Clarisa Figueroa changed her plea to guilty Tuesday, five years after she was charged with the 2019 murders of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and her baby boy.

Prosecutors have said Clarisa Figueroa strangled 19-year-old Ochoa-Lopez with a cable on April 23, 2019, after she was lured to the Figueroas’ home with the promise of free clothing for her unborn child. Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant. Clarisa Figueroa then called 911, saying she had given birth and the child was not breathing.

The child died about two months later.

In court, Tuesday loved ones of Ochoa-Lopez delivered victim impact statements with the help of interpreters.

Her husband wrote that even if Clarisa Figueroa were locked in prison for eternity, it would not be enough for what’s been done to his wife and infant son.

The family’s pastor, Julie Contreras, also commented on the sentencing.

“Today, we say thank you to the Cook County State’s Attorney,” she said. “It’s time for them to move forward, and again, there’s nothing that’s ever going to change the reality of the violent actions.”

Figueroa was sentenced by the judge to 50 years in prison with credit for 1,799 days already served.

As part of a plea agreement, she was only sentenced on the charge of first-degree murder.

Figueroa had nothing to say in her defense.

It’s unclear how this impacts a plea agreement taken by her daughter, Desire Figueroa, she was also charged in this crime and was set to testify against her mother.

The judge says the only reason she took on Tuesday’s plea agreement was because this is what the victim’s family wanted.

Authorities said Clarisa Figueroa’s adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant. They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn, and that she posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page. In March 2019, she and Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.

Detectives investigating Ochoa-Lopez’s disappearance learned that she had gone to the Figueroas’ home. Two weeks after her disappearance, police found her car parked nearby and were told by Desiree Figueroa that Clarisa Figueroa recently had given birth.

DNA tests later determined the child was not Clarisa Figueroa’s.

Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found in a garbage can outside the home.

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