LITTLE VILLAGE — One year after 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa Lopez was brutally murdered in a Scottsdale home, family members of the slain pregnant teen are still waiting for justice.
Standing in front of an altar with photos and paintings of the slain teen, Ochoa Lopez’s husband Yovany Lopez and 4-year-old son, Joshua, took to Facebook live Thursday night to remember Marlen and her infant son, Yovani Yadiel Lopez, who was cut from her womb and later died.
“This is a day we will never forget,” Lopez said during the live video.
On April 23, 2019, the 19-year-old was lured to a home in Scottsdale where her killers strangled her and cut the baby from her womb, prosecutors said. Her body was then hidden in a trash can.
Clarisa Figueroa; her daughter, Desiree Figueroa; and Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, were charged with murder in Ochoa Lopez’s killing. They were later charged with the murder of Ochoa Lopez’s infant son.
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.
After the attack, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming she had given birth at home, prosecutors said.
The woman and baby were rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center where the baby had no brain activity.
Though Figureoa was examined and showed no signs of having given birth, it wasn’t until later that investigators used DNA tests to show Figueroa and Bobak weren’t the parents of the baby.
Instead, the tests showed Ochoa Lopez and her husband, Yovani Lopez, were the infant’s parents. An investigation revealed the Figueroas and Bobak killed Ochoa Lopez, stole the child from her womb so they could raise it as their own and tried to hide her body in a garbage can at the home, prosecutors said.
Once the Lopez family was reunited the baby, they named him Yovanny Jadiel. But his father said a “miracle” was needed to save him.
“The manner in which he was taken out of her body left him with brain damage,” Yovani Lopez said.
After being on life support for two months, baby Yovanny died in June 2019.
Now, one year after Ochoa Lopez’s murder— as coronavirus interrupts everyone’s daily life — Marlen’s family is still awaiting justice.
Pastor Julie Contreras said the murder was a “senseless slaughter of the innocent.”
“One year ago today Marlen Ochoa Lopez never made it to pick up her son from preschool because she and her unborn baby were cheated by a fate of murder,” Contreras said in a statement.
In September 2019, Judge Peggy Chiampas denied a gag order defense attorneys were seeking.
In November 2019, Desiree Figueroa, the youngest of the defendants charged in the murder, gave birth to her own baby.
The next court date in the case is set for May 18 for all three defendants, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.