The baby boy who was ripped out of his mother’s womb in April has passed away, his family announced.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was lured to the home of an older woman who was in a mother’s Facebook group. Prosecutors said that woman, 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa, strangled the teen with the help of her daughter before cutting the baby out of the womb and claiming she’d given birth to him.
The baby boy was on life support ever since, with family members constantly with him in the hospital. But a family spokesperson said on June 14 that the boy died.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez,” family spokeswoman Julie Contreras said in a statement on Facebook. “He passed away this Friday June 14, 2019 from his severe brain injury.”
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.
You can help the family here: https://t.co/D7PUH1CJgQ pic.twitter.com/6LBjpgZ3Rf
— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) May 16, 2019
The baby was on life support but his condition rapidly deteriorated.
“Please keep his family in your thoughts & prayers as they go through this difficult time,” she added.
A funeral will be held but will not be open to the public, she said.
Contreras told Fox 32 that the family was seeking a third medical opinion on the boy’s condition when he died. She didn’t know whether Yovani Lopez, Ochoa-Lopez’s husband, was with his son at the time of death, though she noted he regularly spent the night at the hospital.
Updates about the baby’s condition captivated people nationwide following the story. The baby was said to have opened his eyes for the first time on May 19 while Ochoa-Lopez’s father was in the room and family members said the boy’s condition was improving several days later.
The boy’s family said on May 31 that he was breathing without the help of a machine, indicating further improvement.
“It’s still a long way to go for the baby, but the baby is fighting and surviving,” Frank Avila, an attorney for Yovani Lopez, told WLS at the time.
Ochoa-Lopez was found dead in a garbage can in the backyard of a house in Chicago on May 15, where she went missing on April 23.
Clarisa Figueroa was arrested along with her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, and her boyfriend, Piotr Bobak.
Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz that Ochoa was being shown a photo album of the late son of the older woman when she was suddenly set upon by the elder Figueroa.
Ochoa managed to get her fingers under the cord around her neck before the woman strangling her, Clarisa Figueroa, yelled at her daughter, “You’re not doing your [expletive] job!” according to Murphy.
That’s when Desiree Figueroa, 24, pried Ochoa-Lopez’s fingers from the cord while her mother continued to strangle the teen.
After hearing the testimony, Ortiz denied bond to the Figueroas, who are charged with murder, saying she felt “the presumption is great” that they committed a “heinous and brutal murder” and that they pose “a real and present” danger to the community. They were charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child under 13 resulting in a permanent disability.
She also denied bond to Bobak, who was charged with the concealment of a homicide.
Bobak “willfully assisted the concealment of a crime” and “tried to destroy forensic evidence,” the judge said, reported NBC Chicago.
“Words cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters at a news conference to announce the charges about three weeks after Ochoa vanished on April 23.
“I would like to offer my sincere condolences and prayers to Marlen’s family, who instead of celebrating the arrival of a new life into their family, are now mourning Marlen’s loss, while at the same time caring for a new little baby that’s in grave condition.”
Asked about the family’s motivation for slaying the teen and stealing her baby, Johnson replied: “Only they know that,” reported ABC 7.
“We can only assume [they intended to] raise the child as their own,” he added.