After a baby survived being cut from his slain mother’s womb, his family had hoped for a miracle. But on Friday, they suffered yet another horrendous loss as he succumbed to his injuries.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was nine months pregnant when she went missing in April after leaving school on the lower west side of Chicago. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide, and on Wednesday, prosecutors formally indicted three suspects. Police say that the baby was violently taken from his mother’s body after Ochoa-Lopez was kidnapped and killed.
Julie Contreras, a spokeswoman for the family, posted the news of the baby’s death on Facebook on Friday morning and said he would be laid to rest at a private funeral.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez,” she wrote. “He passed away this Friday June 14, 2019 from his severe brain injury. Please keep his family in your thoughts & prayers as they go through this difficult time."
The prognosis had looked grim for the child, who Contreras said was in “intense chronic pain” and surviving with the help of machines, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. “Only a miracle” could heal him, she said.
It was yet another blow for a family that has endured immense tragedy in recent months.
Ochoa-Lopez disappeared on April 23. Her family became concerned after she had not picked up her 3-year-old son from day care. Her whereabouts remained unknown as her due date arrived, and then passed, and her relatives frantically pleaded with the public for answers.
“She can’t just have disappeared in thin air,” her mother, Raquel Uriostegui, said through an interpreter in May. “She is a very responsible lady. She is not a person who just disappears and leaves home. I cannot believe that she would just leave, pregnant, and abandon her other son. There’s something wrong here, something bad.”
Three weeks after her disappearance, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that police had found Ochoa-Lopez’s body in a trash can outside a house on the southwest side of the city. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the cause of death to be ligature strangulation, and her death was ruled a homicide.
Police charged Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, with first-degree murder in Ochoa-Lopez’s death. Piotr Bobak, Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, was charged with concealment of a homicide. They were formally indicted by prosecutors on June 12.
Ochoa-Lopez had met Clarisa Figueroa through a Facebook group, where the older woman was offering baby clothes, a family spokeswoman told WGN9 in May.
On the same day that Ochoa-Lopez disappeared, 911 dispatchers allegedly received a call from the house saying that a newborn baby was in distress, an ABC affiliate reported. Neighbors reported seeing blood stains on one of the women’s hands and clothes. DNA tests later proved that the baby was Ochoa-Lopez’s child.
Fox23 reported that the baby had no brain function, but his family chose not to take him off life support.