US

Chicago Medical Center Didn’t Tell Child Services About Woman Charged in Teen’s Death: Reports

By Jack Phillips

State agencies said that Chicago’s Christ Medical Center didn’t alert Illinois officials about Clarisa Figueroa, the suspect in the slaying of a pregnant teen when she went to the hospital with a newborn despite showing no signs that she had given birth.

The Illinois Department Children and Family Services and Oak Lawn Police made the claims against Christ Medical Center, The Associated Press and ABC13 reported on May 19.

Figueroa, along with her daughter, Desiree, are accused of killing Marlen Ochoa-Lopez before extracting her baby from her womb in what police have described as an “unspeakable act of violence.”

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez
A memorial of flowers, balloons, a cross, and a photo of victim Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, are displayed on the lawn in Chicago, on May 17, 2019. (Teresa Crawford/AP Photo)

Paramedics brought Figueroa and a seriously ill newborn, Yovani Yadiel, to the hospital on April 23. However, medical staff and police didn’t connect her to Ochoa-Lopez’s murder until weeks later, it was reported.

Police have accused Figueroa of killing the teen, cutting out the baby, and calling 911 to say she had given birth.

The Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jassen Strokosch said the agency was questioned about who should have custody of the newborn on May 9.

missing pregnant woman's baby found
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez.(Chicago Police Department)

“We don’t know what was happening at the hospital,” Strokosch was quoted by News.com.au as saying. Ochoa-Lopez was reported missing by her husband on April 24.

“We have been cooperating with authorities, and as this is an ongoing police matter, we’re referring all inquiries to local law enforcement,” hospital spokesman Adam Mesirow was quoted by the news outlet as saying.

Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez,
Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body in Chicago, on May 16, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Police officials said that the newborn baby isn’t expected to survive. According to the report, Yiovanni Lopez, the father of the newborn and husband of Ochoa-Lopez, said that he was told the child would die soon, but he’s not giving up hope.

“We plead to God that he gives us our child because that is a blessing that my wife left for us,” he said in Spanish.

Meanwhile, on May 20, a mural for Ochoa-Lopez was unveiled in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told AP that police learned Ochoa-Lopez was communicating via a private Facebook group with Figueroa about purchasing baby clothing.

Officials then went to Figueroa’s home, and her daughter told police that her mother had a baby.

“There was nothing to point us in that direction in the beginning,” Johnson said last week.