This combination of booking photos provided by the Chicago Police department on Thursday 16 May 2019 shows from left to right, Pioter Bobak, 40; Clarisa Figueroa, 46; and Desiree Figueroa, 24. Against them is three weeks after the 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez disappeared and a day after her body was found in a garbage can in the backyard of Clarissa Figueroa’s home in Chicago’s Southwest Side. The police said the teenager was strangled and her baby cut from her body. (Chicago Police Department via AP)
CHICAGO – A pregnant Chicago teen who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb was strangled while they have a photo album of the deceased, the son and the brother of her attackers, a prosecutor said Friday in urging a judge to keep the defendants locked up.
Assistant State Attorney James Murphy told Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz that the 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez managed to get her fingers under the cord around her neck and the woman to strangle her, Clarisa Figueroa then yelled to her daughter, “You’re not doing your f-ing job!”
The daughter, a 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, then pried Ochoa-Lopez, the fingers of the cord while her mother continued to strangle the teen for another five minutes, Murphy said. With Ochoa-Lopez showing no signs of life, Clarisa Figueroa, 46, cut her open with a butcher knife and removal of the placenta and the baby, they in a bucket.
She then put the teenager’s body in a garbage can, and 911, who claims that her newborn baby was not breathing, authorities said. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to revive the baby and transported Clarisa Figueroa and the boy to a nearby hospital, where police said he remained in the tomb and was not expected to survive. Figueroa, meanwhile, had blood on her upper body, but no physical sign that she would give birth, according to the researchers.
Ortiz denied bond to the Figueroas, who are charged with murder, saying she felt that “the presumption is great” that they had committed a “horrific and brutal murder” and that they pose “a real and present” danger to the community. She has also denied bond to Clarisa Figueroa’s friend, the 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, who is charged with concealment of a homicide.
The mother’s lawyer asked Ortiz to the Figueroas in protective custody for their safety, given “the nature of the case.”
Clarisa Figueroa apparently wanted to raise another child after her adult son died of natural causes last year, authorities said. Murphy told the court that she told her family in October last year that she was pregnant and later posted on Facebook ultrasound results and pictures of a room decorated for a baby. He said Desiree Figueroa was surprised because her mother had her fallopian tubes tied to prevent pregnancy.
The arrests came three weeks after the disappearance of Ochoa-Lopez, whose decaying body was discovered this week in a garbage can in the backyard of Figueroa’s home on the city Southwest Side, approximately 4 km from Ochoa-Lopez in the your own home. The cord used to strangle her was still around her neck.
According to the police, the young woman was expelled from her high school to Figueroa’s home in response to an offer of free clothes that Figueroa had posted on Facebook.
The police does not close the Ochoa-Lopez’s disappearance, and the 911 call from the baby until 7 May, when the friends of the teenager directed detectives to her social media account, which showed she had communicated with Clarisa Figueroa in a Facebook group for expectant mothers.
At the same time, Clarisa Figueroa was started a GoFundMe campaign for the funeral of what she said was her dying baby, said Sara Walker, a spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez family. The police then conducted a DNA test, which proved that Ochoa-Lopez and her husband, Yiovanni Lopez, were actually his parents, Walker.
When police arrived to question Clarisa Figueroa, her daughter told them that her mother was in the hospital with some kind of leg injury, before adding that she was just gave birth to a baby, said Brendan Deenihan, deputy head of the detectives.
“They told a very strange story,” and the officers “kind of knew where this is headed,” Deenihan said.
The police then searched around and found Ochoa-Lopez’s car a few blocks away. On Tuesday, she is back with a search warrant, finding supplies as well as the evidence of the blood in the hallway and in the bathroom. They later found the body in a trash can behind the house and recovered surveillance video that showed Ochoa-Lopez vehicle driving through the neighborhood on the day that she believed that she was killed, authorities said.
Ochoa-Lopez family was looking for her since her disappearance on April 23, organize search parties and the holding of press conferences as they pushed the police for updates in the research.
Her father, Arnulfo Ochoa, said family members were grateful to have found her. Now they want justice. The family was also ready for the baby’s death, while still hoping for a miracle.
“We beg God that he gives us our child, because that is a blessing that my wife still have for us,” Yiovanni Lopez told reporters through a Spanish interpreter outside of the county morgue where his wife’s body was taken.
The three suspects were scheduled to appear Friday in bond court.
Associated Press writers Don Babwin and Caryn Rousseau, and video journalist Noreen Nasir contributed to this report.