The father of the baby boy who police said was ripped from his mother’s womb was in the hospital cradling the child, who is on life support.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was strangled by a woman she met through Facebook who lured her to her home by offering free baby clothes, prosecutors said.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, then ripped the baby out of the teen’s womb and claimed that she herself had just given birth. Figueroa, her daughter, and her boyfriend were arrested and charged after Ochoa was found on May 15.
Yovani Lopez is the widower of Ochoa-Lopez. He was seen in a picture cradling his baby boy in the hospital.
While his son is brain dead and not expected to survive, he and other family members are still holding out hope, a family friend told the Daily Mail, which obtained and published the photograph, especially after the baby boy opened his eyes on May 19 while his father was holding him.
“We’re praying for a miracle,” the family friend said.
Lopez and Ochoa-Lopez had another child, Joshua. They were married in 2016.
“We plead to God that he give us our child because that is a blessing that my wife left for us,” said Yovani Lopez, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s husband & father of their son, Yovani Yadiel Lopez, who suffered brain damage when he was ripped from his mother’s womb https://t.co/e5S0dY67Ag pic.twitter.com/iBELJgcAiU
— Ashlee Rezin (@Ashlee_Rezin) May 16, 2019
A GoFundMe fundraiser started by Lopez has raised over $4,400 since being started on Sunday.
“I, Yovani Lopez, husband of Marlen Ochoa, I am very grateful to the entire community that was in the search of the disappearance of my wife,” Lopez wrote.
“I am very grateful for the help that is being provided. With all my heart I keep asking for your help. Pray as My Son Yovanny Jardiel Recovers. Thank you very much for the prayers and support that you have given me, I have no more words of thanks. God bless you.”
This is #MarlenOchoa’s baby boy. Send him well wishes as he fights for his life in the hospital. Little Yavani Yadiel Lopez deserves all of our love considering how he was brought into this world. We all wish you a full recovery. @fox32news pic.twitter.com/cSaGr8jnXW
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) May 16, 2019
Facebook messages between Ochoa-Lopez and Clarisa Figueroa were published online, showing Figueroa telling the teen, “My girl has all brand New boy clothes her son never wore.”
When Ochoa-Lopez thanked her, she responded, “No problem girl I know how it is she was lucky to have two baby showers so she just loves to spread the wealth.”
Prosecutor James Murphy said in court on May 17 that Ochoa-Lopez was being shown a photo album of the late son of Figueroa when she was suddenly set upon by the older woman.
Ochoa managed to get her fingers under the cord around her neck. Figueroa then yelled at her daughter, “You’re not doing your [expletive] job!” according to Murphy.
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
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, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz denied bond for 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.
Bobak, who was charged with the concealment of a homicide, was also denied bail.