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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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
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.
As she left high school last month, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez ran a quick errand before picking up her 3-year-old son. It was the last time she would be seen alive.
A timeline of the case, pieced together from police, fire officials, the family and neighbors: https://t.co/tUXRQmcIOv
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) May 16, 2019
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.