By Frank Miles
Published May 22, 2019
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree face first-degree murder charges in the death of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, who had gone to the women's home in response to a Facebook offer of free baby clothes, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a press conference.
The older woman’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak is charged with concealing a death by homicide, police said.
Desiree Figueroa, who pretended Ochoa-Lopez's baby was hers, admitted to helping her mother strangle the woman with a coaxial cable, police said.
The newborn was in grave condition and not expected to survive, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found early Wednesday behind the house, more than three weeks after she was last seen leaving her high school on April 23. That same day, paramedics were called to the Figueroas' home several miles away on the Southwest Side about a newborn with problems breathing.
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said a 46-year-old woman called 911 reporting that her newborn baby was in distress. When paramedics arrived “the baby wasn’t breathing, the baby was blue,” said Merritt. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the baby on the way to the hospital, he said.
The family of Ochoa-Lopez, a married mother of a 3-year-old son, said a woman on Facebook had lured her to the home by offering a stroller and baby clothes.
“She was giving clothes away, supposedly under the pretense that her daughters had been given clothes and they had all these extra boy clothes,” said Cicilia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the family.
A break in the investigation came after the woman who said she had given birth to the baby set up an online fundraising campaign, another spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez’s family said. The GoFundMe campaign said that the baby was about to die and money was needed for a funeral.
Police then conducted DNA tests and determined that Ochoa-Lopez and her husband, Yiovanni Lopez, were actually his parents, Walker said.
Lopez told reporters that he understood his son was likely to die soon, but that he still wasn’t 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 through an interpreter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.