CrimeIllinois not alerted to early clues in womb-cutting case
His young wife killed, her baby cut from womb, husband asks: 'Why did these bad people do this?'
CHICAGO - As she left Latino Youth High School last month, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez had one quick errand to run before picking up her 3-year-old son from day care. It would be the last time she was seen alive. Nine months pregnant, Ochoa-Lopez drove to a home on the Southwest Side where a woman she met through Facebook was offering a double stroller and maybe some baby clothes. Once inside, police say Ochoa-Lopez was strangled and her baby boy cut from her womb. But the newborn had problems breathing and the woman who had lured Ochoa-Lopez to the home made a frantic 911 call saying the baby was "pale and blue.
CHICAGO — Police and Illinois' child welfare agency say staff at a Chicago-area hospital didn't alert them after determining that a bloodied woman who arrived with a gravely ill newborn had not just given birth to the baby boy, as she claimed.
Prosecutor: Pregnant teen killed while being shown photos
A prosecutor says a pregnant Chicago teen who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers. The prosecutor told Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz on Friday that 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez managed to get her fingers under the cord around her neck and that the woman strangling her, 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa, then yelled at her daughter, "You're not doing your f---ing job!" The prosecutor says the daughter, 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, then pried Ochoa-Lopez's fingers from the cord while her mother continued to strangle the teen.
Clarisa Figueroa is charged with killing 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Chicago police say she cut Ochoa-Lopez's baby out of her womb on April 23, then called 911 to report she had given birth to a baby who wasn't breathing. Paramedics took Figueroa and the baby to Advocate Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn. The baby remained hospitalized on life support on Saturday, according to authorities.
Prosecutors say that when Figueroa was brought with the baby to the hospital, she had blood on her upper body and her face, which a hospital employee cleaned off. They also say Figueroa, 46, was examined at the hospital and showed no physical signs of childbirth.
Mother, daughter held without bond in killing of pregnant teen strangled before baby cut from womb
One of the women accused of strangling 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and cutting her full-term baby from her womb had pretended for months beforehand that she was pregnant, Cook County prosecutors said in court Friday.
Advocate Christ Medical Center has declined to say whether or when it contacted authorities, citing state and federal regulations. Oak Lawn police said they were not contacted about Figueroa by the medical center or any other agency.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jassen Strokosch said Saturday the agency was alerted May 9 that there were questions about who had custody of the child in order to make medical decisions. He said he couldn't speculate about why the agency wasn't contacted sooner.
"We don't know what was happening at the hospital," he said.
Strokosch said the Department of Children and Family Services was alerted by someone required by law to contact the department about suspected abuse or neglect, but he couldn't say who contacted the agency.
However, that was after Chicago police had connected Figueroa and her daughter to Ochoa-Lopez's disappearance.
Funeral announced for murdered pregnant Chicago teen
Three people have been charged in connection to the murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, a 19 year old who responded to an offer of free baby clothes on Facebook.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said police learned Ochoa-Lopez was missing when her husband reported it on April 24. On May 7, Chicago police learned from one of Ochoa-Lopez's friends that she had been communicating via a private Facebook group with Figueroa about buying clothing. Police then went to Figueroa's home, where her 24-year-old daughter eventually told them her mother had recently had a baby.
"There was nothing to point us in that direction in the beginning," Johnson told reporters on Thursday, after police had arrested Figueroa and her daughter on murder charges.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Saturday authorities had to subpoena medical records from the hospital for Figueroa and the child. He said police didn't learn that Figueroa showed no signs of childbirth until "a couple weeks" after she was examined.
Both Johnson and Guglielmi referred questions about hospital protocol and policies to the medical center. A spokesman said in an emailed statement: "We have been cooperating with authorities and as this is an ongoing police matter, we're referring all inquiries to local law enforcement."
DNA testing determined Figueroa was not the baby's mother and that Ochoa-Lopez's husband was his father. Strokosch said his department let protective custody of the child lapse on May 13 because his father had been identified.
Baby cut from his slain mother's womb opens his eyes: family spokeswoman.
The mother was killed when she responded to an offer on Facebook for baby clothes.
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