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Woman sentenced to 30 years for role in killing pregnant teen and cutting unborn baby from her womb

Woman sentenced to 30 years for role in killing pregnant teen and cutting unborn baby from her womb
Woman sentenced to 30 years for role in killing pregnant teen and cutting unborn baby from her womb 00:40

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A woman who admitted to helping her mother kill a pregnant teen and cut her baby from her womb in 2019 was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday.

Desiree Figueroa, 29, pleaded guilty in January to one count of first-degree murder in the slaying of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, and agreed to testify against her mother, Clarisa Figueroa, in exchange for a 30-year sentence. Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas formally agreed to that sentence on Thursday. Desiree Figueroa will get credit for the more than five years she already has spent in custody.

Clarisa Figueroa (left) and Desiree Figueroa (right) are accused of strangling 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa and cutting her baby, Yovanny Lopez, from her womb to pass off as the elder Figueroa's child. (Source: Cook County Sheriff)

Clarisa Figueroa pleaded guilty to her part in the gruesome killing last month and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The Figueroas had been charged with kidnapping and killing Ochoa-Lopez, dismembering her body, and covering up her death and that of her baby, Yovanny Lopez, whom they tried to pass off as Clarisa's. He died two months after his mother's murder.

Police and prosecutors have said not long after Clarisa Figueroa's own 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 2019, she and Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.

The two first met in person around April 1, 2019, when Ochoa-Lopez went to the Figueroas' house and left unharmed, prosecutors alleged. The teen returned three weeks later 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.

Marlen Ochoa (Photo provided by family)

Once Ochoa-Lopez stopped showing signs of life, Clarisa Figueroa cut the baby from her womb with a butcher knife and she and her daughter wrapped the teen's body in a blanket, put it in a plastic bag and dragged it outside her Southwest Side home to a garbage can, according to prosecutors.

Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that her newborn baby wasn't breathing. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. Clairsa, a former certified nursing assistant, passed the baby off as her own when she took him to Christ Medical Center, where he died two months later.

The baby's real identity was not revealed for three weeks after Ochoa-Lopez's murder, after police investigating Ochoa-Lopez's disappearance conducted a DNA test on the baby and confirmed he was Ochoa-Lopez's. Detectives later found Ochoa's body stuffed in a trash can at the Figueroas' home.

Last year, Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice for helping cover up the murders. He was sentenced to four years in prison, and given credit for the three years and eight months he had already spent in jail, so has already been released. 

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