Baby Taken from Murdered Mother's Womb Shows Signs of Breathing on His Own
The child of victim Marlen Ochoa-Lopez suffered from lack of oxygen to the brain after the attack.
June 3, 2019
An infant boy cut from his murdered mother’s womb is struggling to survive but, six weeks after the attack, has begun to show intermittent signs of breathing on his own.
“The baby is starting to be weaned off the respirator, but there’s a long way to go and we’re all praying for a miracle,” a spokesman for the family, pastor Emma Lozano, tells PEOPLE.
The child’s nine-months-pregnant mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, vanished April 23 in Chicago, the same day that authorities say another woman, 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa, called 911 to claim that Figueroa herself had just given birth and the newborn was not breathing.
Paramedics rushed Figueroa and the newborn to a hospital, where Figueroa and her family continued to monitor and care for the child as if it were Figueroa’s own.
After the discovery May 15 of Ochoa-Lopez’s body in the garbage behind Figueroa’s home, Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, 24, both were charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13 in the death of Ochoa-Lopez, who also was known as Ochoa-Uriostegui.
Authorities say that Clarisa Figueroa had lured the expectant mom to her home by promising baby items via a Facebook group. As Ochoa-Lopez looked through a photo album of Clarisa Figueroa’s children on April 23, prosecutors allege Clarisa Figueroa snuck up behind her and strangled her with a coaxial cable.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speculated the suspects wanted to “raise the child as their own.”
Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy previously alleged in court that Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa had planned the murder for weeks and carried it out in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner,” reports WTTW.
A third person, Desiree’s boyfriend Piotr Bobak, 40, also is charged with one felony count of concealment of a homicide. None has yet entered a plea and all were being held without bond.
“The baby looks so beautiful and so perfect, but we know otherwise,” Lozano tells PEOPLE. “The lack of oxygen for so long did some major damage to the brain, and we’re all praying for a miracle right now.”
“It’s still a long way to go for the baby, but the baby is fighting and surviving,” Frank Avila, an attorney for Marlen’s husband, Yovany Lopez, said Friday in a news conference after meeting with officials at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where the baby was taken and has been receiving care, reports WLS.
Avila portrayed the meeting with hospital officials as “positive,” but said the victim’s family has questions regarding how Clarissa Figueroa was allowed to portray herself as the child’s mother for so long.
The hospital, citing patient privacy, has declined to comment on the case.
The child’s biological family has created a GoFundMe page that so far has raised more than $56,000 in pledged donations to help for care of the boy his parents had named Yadiel. The couple has a second son, Joshua, age 3. Ochoa-Lopez was due to give birth on May 5.
“With all my heart I keep asking for your help,” his father wrote. “Pray as my son Yovany Yadiel recovers.”