Mother, daughter charged with murder of pregnant teen whose baby they cut out of her

By Dave Andrusko

Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s father, Arnulfo Ochoa, walks into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body, Thursday morning, May 16, 2019. [Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times]

Cook County prosecutors today outlined the details of a deadly plot, hatched over the course of a month, in which a 46-year-old mother and her daughter plotted to murder Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and rip her fully developed unborn baby from her womb.

The Chicago Sun Times reported today

After luring 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez to their brick ranch-style home in the 4100 block of West 77th Place, Clarisa Figueroa, 46, strangled the young mother with a coaxial cable for up to five minutes, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Clarisa Figueroa’s daughter, Desiree Figueroa, then brought her mother a butcher’s knife from the kitchen, which was used to cut Ochoa-Lopez’s baby from her womb, Murphy said.

As horrific as those details are, the larger picture painted by reporters Andy Grimm and Matthew Hendrickson is almost mind-numbing sordid and brutal. Suffice it to say that Desiree Figueroa, herself four months pregnant, and her mother, allegedly discussed how to murder the teenager while Ochoa-Lopez was paging through an album of photos of Clarisa Figueroa’s deceased son, Xander, who had died of natural causes when he was 20!

Both the mother and her daughter are charged with first-degree murder. Clarisa Figueroa is also charged with aggravated battery to a child. Some reports say the baby, given the name Yadiel Yovany Lopez, is brain-dead, others that he is in “grave condition” with “severe brain damage.”

40-year-old Piotr Bobak, Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, is charged with concealment of a homicidal death.

According to prosecutors, the younger Figueroa gave a “full video-recorded confession” to police, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“Judge Susana Ortiz ordered all three held without bail during a hearing Friday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, saying ‘that there was significant premeditation and planning’ to commit the murder,” The Sun Times reported.

Clarisa Figueroa “asked her daughter to help her murder a pregnant woman in order to steal a baby nearly a month before the killing of Ochoa-Lopez took place in late April,” according to Grimm and Hendrickson.

Although 46 and having had her tubes tied, Clarisa Figueroa told her daughter last October that she was pregnant, prosecutors said in court. “By December, she had posted an ultrasound photo on Facebook of a fetus she claimed to be carrying, prosecutors said.”

It turns out that Ochoa-Lopez had met the older Figueroa at her home on April 1, prior to the day she was lured to her death by the offer of a double stroller and maybe some baby clothes. She had met Figueroa on a Facebook page meant for mothers.

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Rosemary Sobol, Jessica Villagomez, Jeremy Gorner reported that around 6p.m., the night of April 23, just hours after Ochoa-Lopez went missing,

“the Chicago Fire Department answered a 911 call from the home reporting that a child had just been born. When paramedics arrived, they saw “the baby was in obvious distress,” according to department spokesman Larry Langford. A source said the baby “was basically blue.”

The paramedics started advanced life support and radioed for another ambulance. The baby was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

All three defendants are scheduled to return to court June 3.

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