CHICAGO – An infant boy who was cut from a Chicago woman's womb with a butcher knife died Friday at a hospital where he had been in grave condition since the April attack that killed his mother, family spokeswomen said.
Yovanny Jadiel (yoh-VAH'-nee YAH'-dee-el) Lopez died at Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn from a severe brain injury, according to a statement posted on Facebook by family spokeswoman Julie Contreras, who expressed "great sadness" in announcing the baby's death. Family spokeswoman Cecilia Garcia confirmed the statement.
The baby had been on life support since being brought to the hospital on April 23. Prosecutors say Clarisa Figueroa, 46, claimed she had given birth to the baby. She and her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree Figueroa, are charged with murder in the death of the baby's mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, and Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Friday that he expects both women will now be charged with murder in the infant's death.
Prosecutors will "make a determination on additional charges" after police and the county's medical examiner's office complete their investigations, Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said in a written statement. An attorney for the family, Frank Avila, demanded that the office charge the two women with murder, and charge the Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, with murder as well. Bobak has been charged with concealing a homicide.
"The baby was murdered and we demand justice," he said.
Garcia said the family had been weighing whether to remove the baby from life support when the child died. And Avila told reporters that he was notified overnight that the baby's condition had deteriorated, prompting him to call a Catholic priest, who came to the hospital to administer last rites at about 1 a.m. Four hours later, he said, the child died as a result of brain injuries caused by a loss of oxygen when he was cut from his mother's body.
Christ Medical Center said in a statement that its "hearts and prayers" were with the baby's family, and that their "courage and grace have drawn the admiration of our entire organization."
Authorities contend that not long after Clarisa Figueroa's adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant. They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn, and that she posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page. In March, she and Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.
The two first met in person around April 1, when Ochoa-Lopez went to the Figueroas' house and left unharmed, prosecutors allege. The teen returned on April 23 to accept Clarisa Figueroa's offer of free baby clothes, and as Desiree Figueroa was showing Ochoa-Lopez a photo album of her late brother to distract her, Clarisa Figueroa sneaked up behind her and strangled her with a cord.
Once Ochoa-Lopez stopped showing signs of life, Clarisa Figueroa cut the baby from her womb and she and her daughter wrapped the teen's body in a blanket, put it in a plastic bag and dragged it outside to a garbage can, according to prosecutors.
Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that her newborn baby was not breathing. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to resuscitate the infant and took him to Christ Medical Center, where he remained until his death.
This version of the story corrects the spelling of rites in the sixth paragraph.
Callahan reported from Indianapolis.