A mother and her daughter have been charged in the killing of a 19-year-old pregnant woman who was strangled before her baby boy was cut from her womb, a horrific crime authorities said may have been committed because they wanted to keep the child.
Detectives found coaxial cable used to strangle Marlen Ochoa-Lopez in the same garbage can where her body was found outside the family’s Southwest Side home, Chicago police officials said at a Thursday news conference.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree, 24, were both charged with one count each of first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child causing permanent disability. The elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, was charged with concealment of a homicide. Police said the younger Figueroa confessed to helping her mother strangle Ochoa-Lopez.
Police said the motive was unclear, but police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said “we can only assume” the Figueroas planned to raise the baby as their own. Officials said the elder Figueroa had lost a son in his 20s to natural causes within the last few years.
Ochoa-Lopez, who was also the mother of a 3-year-old son, disappeared April 23 after leaving Latino Youth High School in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Nine months pregnant, the teen went to Figueroa’s home after the older woman offered a double stroller and baby clothes. The two had met through a Facebook group for mothers. Once inside the home in the 4100 block of West 77th Place, police said Ochoa-Lopez was killed and the baby removed.