A mother and daughter have been charged in the murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, the pregnant 19-year-old woman who was strangled before her baby was cut from her womb in Chicago, IL.
On Thursday, authorities announced they had charged 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree with first-degree murder and aggravated battery. The mother-daughter duo allegedly lured Ochoa-Lopez to their Southwest Side home in late April under the pretense that they would give her a stroller and baby clothes, but then strangled her to death and forcibly removed the baby.
Police believe Clarisa wanted to keep Ochoa-Lopez's baby and raise him as her own. Clarisa's boyfriend Piotr Bobak, 40, was also arrested in connection with the murder. He was charged with one felony count of concealing a death and one felony count of concealing a homicide.
Ochoa-Lopez, who was nine months pregnant, was last seen after leaving Latino Youth High School on April 23. That same day she had made arrangements to meet Clarisa, whom she had met on a Facebook group for mothers, at her home. Police suspect that Clarisa and Desiree strangled Ochoa-Lopez to death with a coaxial cable. Then, the women allegedly forcibly removed her baby from her womb. Ochoa-Lopez's body was found in a trash can at Figueroa's home.
Authorities say the women called 911, alleging Clarisa had given birth at home and the baby was "pale and blue." The newborn was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition and placed in the intensive care unit, where he still remains.
On May 7, more than two weeks after Ochoa-Lopez was reported missing, police were able to obtain the Facebook messages between her and Clarisa. When questioned by the authorities, Desiree alleged that her mother had just had a baby. Detectives found her story suspicious, which led them to subpoena hospital records and order DNA tests, eventually matching the baby's DNA to Ochoa-Lopez's.
"Why did these people, why did these bad people, do this? She did nothing to them," Ochoa-Lopez's husband Yovani Lopez said Wednesday evening. "She was a good person." He added: "We’re going to have justice with those responsible. We're going to go hard after them. We won't let it go."
A family spokesperson said the baby boy, whose father named him Yovani Yadiel, remained in the ICU.