Home / US / Mother, daughter without attachment in the killing of pregnant teen strangled before baby kept cut out of the womb

Mother, daughter without attachment in the killing of pregnant teen strangled before baby kept cut out of the womb

One of the women accused of strangling 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and cutting her adult baby out of the womb for months claimed she was pregnant, Cook County prosecutors said on Friday in court.

Clarisa Figueroa, along with daughter Desiree and friend Piotr Bobak, continued the deception for weeks after she had killed Ochoa-Lopez. The prosecution claimed that the baby was Figueroa and asked for money on a crowdfunding site because the newborn boy was hospitalized in a serious condition. Judge Susana Ortiz called the murder "brutal and disgusting" and ordered that all three were held captive on Friday after the Cook County Procuratorate revealed the grisly details in front of a crowded courtroom in the building of the Leighton Criminal Court.

Elder Figueroa, 46, and her 24-year-old daughter must each receive a count of first-degree murder cases and serious consequences of a child, which have led to permanent disability in Ochoa-Lopez's death. Bobak, 40, was charged with concealing a murder.

At the request of her mother, the younger Figueroa brought a blanket, a large plastic bag and a butcher, prosecutors said. After her daughter had left the room, the older Figueroa Ochoa-Lopez cut the stomach from one side to the other, took the baby from the womb and put it in a bucket, prosecutors said.

When the daughter returned to the room, the elder Figueroa wrapped Ochoa-Lopez in a blanket, "shoved" her into the plastic bag and tied her up, prosecutors said. The mother then carried the bag to a trashcan hidden at the side of the family garage.

The elder Figueroa then called 911 and announced that she alone had given birth to a baby who was not breathing, the prosecution said. When the paramedics arrived, she held the baby with placenta and umbilical cord. Both were brought to the Advocate Christ Medical Center.

The baby remains in a serious condition and has no brain activity.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said on Thursday that "we can only accept" what the Figueroas were aiming to educate the baby as their own.

Police said detectives did not begin to assemble the case until May 7 – two weeks after Ochoa-Lopez was missing – when a teenage mother's friend mentioned she was participating in a chat page on Facebook. At checkout, the investigators learned that Ochoa-Lopez had gone to Figueroa to pick up baby clothes. The detectives then went home and interviewed younger Figueroa, who eventually revealed that her 46-year-old mother had just given birth to a baby. A search of the neighborhood revealed that Ochoa-Lopez & # 39; s car was not far away, the police said.

The same day, detectives went to the hospital to speak with the elder Figueroa, who denied that Ochoa-Lopez had turned up at her home on April 23. Police have summoned hospital records and eventually learned from DNA evidence that the newborn was not the older Figueroa's child, she claimed.

On Tuesday, detectives searched the house of Figueroa. In the backyard garbage can, the police found Ochoa-Lopez's remains and the coaxial cable that strangled her. Detectives also found the remains of burned clothing and the display of blood throughout the Figueroa house and bleaching and cleaning solutions, the police said.

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Ochoa-Lopez & # 39; Father criticized the police efforts and said that he did not believe that the ministry paid enough attention to the disappearance because the family had a migrant background.

"We came to this land to give my daughter a good life," said Arnulfo Ochoa outside the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. "We only want justice for what they have done for my daughter," said the father.

The family also wondered why Doctors at the Advocate Christ Medical Center asked no further questions when the baby was brought there.

"Why did not they notice?" Ochoa asked.

In a brief statement, Advocate Christ Medical Center rejected a comment, "out of respect for the privacy of patients and in accordance with federal and state regulations." Reporters explain why detectives could not figure out more quickly what happened to Ochoa-Lopez.

"When they had this break on May 7, things started to run fast," Johnson said. "In the beginning there was nothing that could point us in that direction."

"Remember, this is real life, not 48 hours," Johnson later said in a TV crime show. "It does not work that way, it takes time."

Johnson also addressed the frustration that Ochoa-Lopez's family felt. "All of us up here are parents, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters, so we do not miss the emotional burden that that means to people," said the Superintendent. "I can not even imagine … what this family is going through, they should be celebrating the birth of a little baby instead … they are mourning the mother and possibly this little child."

mcrepeau @ chicagotribune.com

Twitter @crepeau

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