3 arrested in death of pregnant Chicago woman
A pregnant woman who had gone to a Chicago home in response to a Facebook offer of free baby clothes was strangled and her baby cut from her womb, police and family members said. The newborn was in grave condition and not expected to survive.
Three people were charged in the death of Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, on Thursday. Police said Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa, 24, were charged with murder, and Desiree confessed to helping her mother strangle Ochoa-Uriostegui with a coaxial cable, CBS Chicago reported.
Police said Clarisa Figueroa and Ochoa-Uriostegui knew each other from previous exchanges of baby clothes. Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, was charged with concealment of a crime.
The teen's body was found early Wednesday behind the house. Ochoa-Uriostegui was last seen leaving her high school on April 23, the same day paramedics were called to the home several miles away on the Southwest Side about a newborn with problems breathing.
"We believe that she was murdered, and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, calling it an "unspeakable act of violence."
A 911 dispatcher reported that a 46-year-old woman had called to say that she had given birth 10 minutes earlier and the baby was pale and blue and not breathing, according to WLS-TV.
The family of Ochoa-Uriostegui, 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. Cecelia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the family, said Ochoa-Uriostegui met the woman through a Facebook group called "Help A Sister Out."
"She was giving clothes away, supposedly under the pretense that her daughters had been given clothes and they had all these extra boy clothes," Garcia said.
A neighbor told CBS Chicago that on April 23 the woman living at the house ran outside holding a newborn and wearing a blood-smeared shirt, but she had no blood on her gray shorts. The neighbor said the woman told her, "I just had the baby, and it's not breathing."
A fire department spokesperson confirmed to CBS Chicago a baby in distress was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center by ambulance from the same address around 6 p.m. that day.
Garcia said police informed the family DNA tests confirmed Tuesday the baby is Ochoa-Uriostegui's.
"It just seems surreal. You see this stuff on the movies," Garcia told the station. "You never get to know someone, people actually are this evil.
Ochoa-Uriostegui's family has been looking for her since her disappearance more than three weeks ago, organizing search parties and pushing police for updates on the investigation. As her May 5 due date passed, the family held a press conference, begging for anyone with information to come forward.
Ochoa-Uriostegui's mother said her daughter seemed normal before her disappearance and was already starting to have mild contractions. Speaking in Spanish, she said she doubted her daughter would have left her young son, and said she feared she may have been abducted.
Her husband Yiovanni Lopez visited his son at the hospital and named him Yadiel, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
"Why did these people, why did these bad people, do this? She did nothing to them," Lopez told WLS. "She was a good person."
Speaking in Spanish during during a press conference Thursday, Lopez and other family members called for justice for the slain woman. Lopez said that although his wife was found under circumstances he could never imagine, he said he had some measure of peace knowing she has been located and the family can give her a proper burial.
"Now all we want is to give her the funeral she deserves, and make sure she goes to heaven," Lopez said.
Lopez said the child was in a coma and had no brain activity. Holding up a picture of the boy, he said the family is praying for a miracle.
"We ask all of you to pray for this little angel fighting for his life," Lopez said. "He wants to be with his family." He called the boy a "blessing my wife left for us."
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