Baby cut from womb of teen mother in Chicago dies

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was found dead in a home on Chicago's Southwest Side. Baby Yadiel, seen in a local hospital, was cut from Ochoa-Lopez's womb.


By CHICAGO TRIBUNE Published: June 14, 2019

CHICAGO (Tribune News Service) — A baby boy has died a month and a half after he was cut from the womb of his teenage mother, who had been lured to a Southwest Side home and strangled, according to representatives of the family.

Yovanny Jadiel Lopez had been on life support at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn since he was born on April 23. Doctors had told the family that he had suffered severe brain damage from lack of oxygen.

“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez,” family spokeswoman Julie Contreras said in a statement. “He passed away this Friday June 14, 2019, from his severe brain injury. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.”

Just two days ago, indictments were announced against a mother and daughter accused of luring 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez to their home with promises of free baby clothes, then strangling her and cutting her baby from the womb in a desperate bid to raise the child as their own.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree, 24, are charged with first-degree murder. The elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, has been charged with concealing a homicidal death.

After the hearing, Contreras told reporters that the boy “suffered irrevocable brain damage. There’s no medicine, no pill that can fix that. Only a miracle.”

The gruesome details of the case stunned the city and garnered national media attention.

Prosecutors said the elder Figueroa had announced in October that she was pregnant — a surprise to family who knew she had her fallopian tubes tied. Over the next several months, she posted photos on Facebook of an ultrasound and a decorated nursery, complete with a crib. She said she would name the baby Xander after a 20-year-old son who died last year, according to prosecutors.

As her phony due date drew near, prosecutors said, she and her daughter plotted to kill a pregnant woman to steal her baby.

Prosecutors have alleged that Ochoa-Lopez, a mother of a young child who was nine months pregnant, reached out and touched the nose of the family dog as Figueroa, sitting atop her, took an agonizing four to five minutes to strangle her with a cable.

After killing Ochoa-Lopez and cutting her baby from her womb, prosecutors said, Figueroa continued to claim the infant as her own, even seeking money on a crowdfunding site for the critically injured boy.

Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found in a garbage can outside the Figueroa home on May 14 with the coaxial cable used to strangle her still around her neck.

Police and prosecutors said the younger Figueroa gave “a full video-recorded confession” to assisting her mother in strangling Ochoa-Lopez.

Prosecutors said Bobak helped clean the scene after Ochoa-Lopez’s killing and later shared the crowdfunding site on his Facebook page.

©2019 Chicago Tribune

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