CHICAGO (CBS)– It was a sad day in court for family and friends of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa.
They heard graphic details of what prosecutors said happened to Ochoa; and, for the first time, they saw the mother and daughter duo accused of killing her.
People in the community showed up early to the courthouse to show their support for Ochoa’s family. They stood on the front steps outside the building Friday morning, and hours later made their way inside for the suspects’ bond hearing.
For about an hour, a judge heard from prosecutors as they pushed for her alleged killers to be held without bail.
The Murder of Marlen Ochoa
Prosecutors described how Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa allegedly began plotting to kill Ochoa and steal her baby weeks before the grisly slaying.
Prosecutors said Clarisa had been pretending for months before the murder that she was pregnant, even though she had previously had her Fallopian tubes tied. She even went so far as to post photos of an ultrasound, a crib, and a baby room on Facebook.
Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said Ochoa first met the Figueroas at their home on April 1, when Clarisa allegedly told her daughter they needed to kill Ochoa and take her baby. Desiree said no, and told her boyfriend, who called police, but Clarisa said it was just an April Fool’s joke.
When Ochoa visited the Figueroas’ home again on April 23, she sat on the couch, and Desiree allegedly distracted her with a photo album of her late brother, who died last year. Clarisa then allegedly wrapped a coaxial cable around Ochoa’s neck from behind, and began strangling her.
Prosecutors said Ochoa tried to stop Clarisa, and managed to get her fingers between the cable and her neck, prompting Clarisa to tell her daughter “you’re not doing your f*****g job.”
Desiree then allegedly peeled Ochoa’s fingers away from the cable one by one. Clarisa then got on top of Ochoa and strangled her for 4 to 5 minutes.
Once Ochoa was dead, Clarisa sliced open her abdomen and removed her baby. Prosecutors said she placed the baby and placenta in a bucket, with the umbilical cord still sticking out; and then wrapped Ochoa in a blanket, shoved her in a plastic bag, and lugged it to a garbage can hidden on the side of their garage.
After listening to the sickening details of her daughter’s death, Ochoa’s mother walked out of the courtroom overwhelmed with emotion.
“The family was in too much anguish and pain. Inside of the [Cook County State’s Attorney’s] victims’ unit, they were almost passing out from the pain and anguish that they were feeling,” said Julie Contreras, of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Contreras has been working with the family.
“This judge, we applaud her and her decision; and the state’s attorney’s office, we applaud them moving forward to ask for no bond,” Contreras said. “They would have been at risk to the general public, not only this family.”
Ochoa’s father had no comment as he left the courthouse.
A day earlier, he was at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, where he saw pictures of his daughter’s remains. On Friday, he had to face her alleged killers in court.
What was supposed to be a joyous time in his life, celebrating the birth of his grandson, has been left with pain and heartache as baby Yovanny Yadiel Lopez remains in the hospital in grave condition.
Ochoa’s baby is at Christ Hospital on life support. Authorities have said he has no brain activity.
A candle light vigil for Ochoa will take place Friday night at Rainy Park at 7 p.m.