The baby who was cut from a young teenage mother’s womb before she was reportedly murdered has opened his eyes for the first time on May 20.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant when she went missing on April 23, and her body was found last week. Her cause of death was strangulation and her baby was forcibly removed from her body, police said. Ochoa-Lopez was 19 when she died.
A spokesperson for Ochoa-Lopez’s family told NBC Chicago that Ochoa-Lopez’s father visited his grandson in the hospital on May 19, when the baby opened his eyes.
Yavani Yadiel Lopez is Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s son. He is brain dead and on life-support at Christ Hospital where his family has decided to keep him on life-support.
Charges against the people responsible expected shortly.
— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) May 16, 2019
The baby remains in a critical condition and was on life support in a hospital in Chicago as of May 18, NBC Chicago reported. The family called him a “fighter.” The baby will be assessed for brain activity this coming week.
Yovani Lopez, the widower of Ochoa-Lopez, said that the family had been praying for a miracle. Earlier reports had said that the boy is brain dead and not expected to survive.
A funeral will be held for the 19-year-old mother at Mount Auburn Funeral Home on May 25 at 9 a.m. with a chapel service at 11 a.m., her family told NBC Chicago.
Police said that 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa murdered Ochoa-Lopez on April 23 at a South Side home and then cut the baby out of her womb.
Marlen Ochoa Lopez, 9 months pregnant, went missing after meeting a lady to exchange baby items after asking for help on a Facebook group..
1st picture is of her abductor, Clarissa Figueroa
2nd is 19 yr old Marlen Ochoa Lopez and the comments they exchanged. pic.twitter.com/nal1JLYYOh
— desirae bianca ✨ (@desiraebianca) May 15, 2019
After cutting the baby out of the 19-year-old mother’s womb, Figueroa then allegedly phoned 911 to say she had just given birth to a baby who wasn’t breathing, according to police.
Paramedics transported Figueroa to the hospital in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago, where she reportedly underwent a physical exam that determined she had not given birth.
Police announced May 16 that three people had been arrested and charged in connection with Ochoa-Lopez’s death.
At a news conference, Chicago police said that Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree Figueroa, would face charges of first-degree murder. Meanwhile, Figueroa’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, is charged with concealment of a homicide.
Lopez, the father, recently provided new photos showing him cuddling the baby.
Surrounded by family members and supporters, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez nearly collapsed this morning as he walked into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body.https://t.co/eqv5sZ3KJc pic.twitter.com/q3tPTKPigO
— Ashlee Rezin (@Ashlee_Rezin) May 16, 2019
Officials Not Alerted
Police and Illinois’s child welfare agency said staff at Advocate Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn didn’t alert them after finding that Figueroa did not give birth to the baby boy as she claimed.
Prosecutors said 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 said Figueroa was examined at the hospital and showed no physical signs of childbirth.
The mother of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez outside the Medical Examiner’s office… Her friends spoke with us – stunned, heartbroken, trying to make sense of an incomprehensible crime. pic.twitter.com/WjaYf8tc3x
— Lexi Sutter (@LexiSutterTV) May 16, 2019
On May 18, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jassen Strokosch said that the agency had been alerted on 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.
The Epoch Times’ reporters Tom Ozimek and Jack Phillips, and The Associated Press contributed to this article.