CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of Marlen Ochoa and activists are now demanding answers from hospital officials at Advocate Christ Medical Center, where Ochoa’s baby is in critical condition after his mother was murdered and he was cut from her womb.
The family is accusing Christ Medical Center staff of completely irresponsible behavior, for allowing Ochoa’s alleged killer, Clarisa Figueroa, to be on hospital property days after the murder.
Police and prosecutors have said Figueroa strangled Ochoa, 19, and cut her unborn baby from her womb, then passed off the boy as her own. Ochoa had been missing for weeks before detectives finally got a break in the case and charged Figueroa and two others in her death.
The family and activists are also concerned after they watched CBS 2’s exclusive interview last week with the estranged daughters of Figueroa, who say she was given a room in the labor and maternity area at Christ Medical Center, where she was visited by her boyfriend Peter Bobak and her daughter Desiree Figueroa, who also face charges.
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A meeting between the Ochoa family and hospital staff started at 1 p.m. Monday. The family was accompanied by its lawyer and a spokesperson. The group met for nearly seven hours with the vice president of the administrative office.
CBS 2 was told the family presented more than 20 questions, including how Figueroa was never questioned or initially checked after she claimed she was the baby’s mother.
The family said they did not get those answers. They did, however, commend the hospital’s transparency.
“What I did see was compassion,” said family advocate Julie Contreras. “Compassion is important from the medical team, but we must hold them accountable, too, for protocols and procedures, something that the the family is not only thinking about themselves, They’re thinking about the future.”
Contreras also said baby Yovanny’s condition is due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, and the family is not considering removing life support. They say they have faith he’ll pull through.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday night that it is looking into whether Advocate Christ Medical Center failed to notify authorities about suspicions they had surrounding the arrival of a newborn.
The hospital released the following statement regarding the situation:
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Ochoa-Lopez family. Our clinical team is committed to meeting regularly with patients and families to ensure there is open dialogue about treatment paths. Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we are unable to comment on the specific content covered during our time together.”