CHICAGO (CBS)– Marlen Ochoa’s family said they are outraged and hurt that staff at Advocate Christ Medical Center did so little to confirm the identity of her infant, despite so many red flags when the woman accused of killing Ochoa brought the newborn there three weeks ago, claiming he was her baby.
Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree, are charged with murder and aggravated battery of a child, accused of plotting for nearly a month to kill Ochoa and cut her baby from her womb.
A picture circulating on social media shows Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, holding baby Yovanny, all while Ochoa’s remains were behind Figeuroa’s house. Bobak is charged with helping Clarisa Figueroa try to conceal Ochoa’s murder.
The three people charged in the gruesome slaying were ordered held without bail on Friday.
The Murder of Marlen Ochoa
Court documents reveal it took the hospital and police nearly three weeks to determine the baby was not Clarisa Figueroa’s, despite signs she couldn’t be the mother.
Ochoa family spokesperson Julie Contreras said the photograph of Bobak holding Marlen’s baby is “devastating to them.” Bobak claimed on social media that the baby was his.
“How is it that these criminals, these murderers, were allowed to stand around this baby, name him, claim him, when in fact they were not his parents?” she said.
On April 23, baby Yovanny was brought to Christ Medical Center after an emergency call from Clarisa Figueroa. Prosecutors have said she called 911 a short time after she and her daughter strangled Ochoa, and Clarisa cut the baby from the dead teen’s womb.
Both Yovanny and Figueroa were taken to the hospital.
The charges against Ochoa’s alleged killers revealed that an OB technician cleaned blood off Figueroa’s arms, hands, and face; but an examination showed no signs of having delivered a baby. A witness who saw Clarisa outside her home before paramedics took her to the hospital said she had blood on her shirt, but not her shorts. Prosecutors said Figueroa previously had her Fallopian tubes tied, so she couldn’t have been pregnant.
“If they examined her, and they see she did not give birth to a child, what then should have been the protocol and procedure?” Contreras said.
Police said they didn’t discover a connection between Figueroa and Ochoa until May 7, two weeks after Ochoa was killed.
Ochoa’s family said they don’t know when the pictures of the baby were taken.
Two of Figueroa’s daughters told CBS 2 they were also able to visit the baby during that time.
On May 9, DCFS said they learned of the baby for the first time through a hotline call from a mandated reporter. The agency said they immediately placed the baby in protective custody.
Christ Medical Center declined to comment “out of respect for patient privacy and in compliance with federal and state regulations.”
Contreras said Ochoa’s mother is searching for answers.
“The audacity for this monster to be over her grandson after he was ripped out of the womb of her daughter; it’s painful, she said,” Contreras said.
Contreras said the family will be meeting with the Christ Medical Center staff in the coming days to try to get answers to some of their questions.
The family is also facing a very difficult decision, whether the take the baby, Yovanny, off life support. He is in grave condition, and has no brain activity.