An infant boy who was cut from a Chicago woman’s womb with a butcher knife died Friday at a hospital where he had been in grave condition since the April attack that killed his mother, family spokeswomen said. Cecilia Garcia confirmed a family statement posted on Facebook that 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa‘s baby died at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
A statement by another family spokeswoman, Julie Contreras, expressed “great sadness” in announcing Yovanny Jadiel Lopez’s death and said he died from a severe brain injury. The baby had been on life support for more than a month and the family had been weighing whether to remove him from life support, but Garcia said the child simply died early Friday.
“He is an angel, and he’s in his mom’s arms now,” Contreras told CBS Chicago. “His father was able to hold him in his last minutes.”
Prosecutors said Clarisa Figueroa, 46, claimed she had given birth to the baby when she took him to a hospital on April 23. Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree Figueroa, have been charged with murder in Ochoa’s death.
Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, is charged with concealing a homicide. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Friday that he expects both women will now be charged with murder in the baby’s death.
Contreras called for the defendants to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
“He is the victim of a heinous crime. He was ripped from the womb of his mother,” Contreras said of the child.
Authorities contend that not long after Clarisa Figueroa’s adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant.
They said 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, she and Ochoa connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.
The two first met in person around April 1, when Ochoa went to the Figueroas’ house and left unharmed, prosecutors allege. The teen returned on April 23 to accept Clarisa Figueroa’s offer of free baby clothes, and as Desiree Figueroa was showing Ochoa a photo album of her late brother to distract her, Clarisa Figueroa allegedly sneaked up behind her and strangled her with a cord.
Once Ochoa stopped showing signs of life, Clarisa Figueroa cut the baby from her womb and she and her daughter wrapped the teen’s body in a blanket, put it in a plastic bag and dragged it outside to a garbage can, according to prosecutors. Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that she had just given birth.
A neighbor told CBS Chicago that the woman ran outside holding a newborn and wearing a blood-smeared shirt, but she had no blood on her gray shorts. The neighbor said the woman told her, “I just had the baby, and it’s not breathing.”
When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to resuscitate the infant and took him to Christ Medical Center.
When Ochoa didn’t show up that day to pick up her 3-year-old son from day care, Ochoa’s family, volunteers and police launched an intensive search for the woman, and there was still no sign of her as her May 5 due date passed. Her family held a press conference, begging anyone with information to come forward.
The baby’s real identity was not revealed for three weeks, after police investigating Ochoa’s disappearance conducted a DNA test on the baby and confirmed he was Ochoa’s. Detectives on May 15 found Ochoa’s body stuffed in a trash can at the Figueroas’ home.
The three defendants are due back in court June 26.