CHICAGO (CBS) — “Persons of interest” are being questioned in the case of missing pregnant teen Marlen Ochoa, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Police picked up several people for questioning in the Scottsdale neighborhood, and two Chicago police cars were seen securing a house in the 4100 block of 77th Place hours after taking some of its residents into custody.
The house is less than a block from where Ochoa’s car was found just days ago.
Police would not say exactly how many people were being questioned, but neighbors said three people were taken into custody.
“As I was coming, picking up my kids from school, they were being arrested,” said neighbor Tina Lara. “Two ladies and one man.”
Ochoa, who was due to give birth May 5, has been missing since April 23, when she didn’t show up to pick up her preschool-aged son.
Ochoa is 19 years old and was nine months pregnant when she went missing.
Neighbors say they noticed her car before it was found, but didn’t realize it was Ochoa’s. They say they noticed it three weeks ago and that the car kept moving from place to place.
“So they saw somebody from this house fixing the tire and then taking the car to the other side of the street,” said Lara.
She was last seen leaving Latino Youth High School in Pilsen.
Family said there have been possible sightings at the Walgreens at 55th and Kedzie.
There are also reports she was seen at a Mexican restaurant just blocks away, but nothing is confirmed.
“We are desperate and can’t continue like this,” said Marlen’s husband Yovani Lopez.
The expecting mother’s Honda Civic is also missing. Her phone is turned off.
“Please take this case seriously. Do not take this case as if it’s nothing,” Lopez said. “We’re talking about it. We’re talking about a woman who is carrying a child, and she’s nine months pregnant.”
Lopez spoke as he held their 3-year-old son. Their relationship is described as turbulent at times.
“He’s desperate and waiting for her to come home with his arms open for her,” Lopez said of their son.
“And if somebody took her because they want to steal the baby there is still time to return her,” Ochoa’s mother said. “There is still time to return her.”