CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Department Of Public Health is investigating how Advocate Christ Medical Center handled the Marlen Ochoa case. according to a department spokeswoman.
“If there were evidence of a hospital not following any state or federal law, the hospital could be cited with a violation and be required to take corrective action,” Melaney Arnold said in a email to CBS 2.
Earlier Tuesday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said it wants DCFS to determine if hospital staff failed to quickly notify child welfare authorities about suspicions they had when Ochoa’s baby, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, arrived there three weeks ago.
Police and prosecutors have said 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa strangled Ochoa and cut her unborn baby from her womb, then passed the infant off as her own. Shortly after she allegedly killed Ochoa, she called 911 to report she had just given birth, and the baby was in distress.
Prosecutors have said when Figueroa was examined at Christ Medical Center, she showed no signs of having recently given birth.
Meantime, baby Yovanni was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he remains on life support.
“We will ask DCFS to advise if this unspeakably tragic set of facts was reportable by a mandated reporter. If they determine it was, we will ensure it is immediately investigated,” Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari stated in an email.
In a statement, DCFS said regulating hospitals is up to the Illinois Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“DCFS will provide any support needed to the family in this case and to those handling any investigations into this matter,” spokesman Jassen Strokosch wrote in an email.
Meantime, Ochoa’s family met with hospital staff on Monday. They said they presented Christ Medical Center with 20 questions, including why Figueroa was never questioned or checked when she first arrived at the hospital with Yovanni.
They said much of their questions went unanswered, but they commended the hospital’s transparency.
Hospital officials said they can’t comment on the specifics of the case, but are “committed to meeting regularly with patients and families to ensure there is open dialogue.”
As for Marlen’s family, they said they are holding onto hope baby Yovanni will recover. They said they will not pull him off life support.