CHICAGO (CBS) — Documents released Friday detail what Advocate Christ Medical Center did wrong when a baby, cut from his mother’s womb, was taken there in April.
The hospital was found in compliance with the Medicare conditions of participation, but the hospital was not in compliance with standards for hospitals — a violation, but not as severe.
Police and prosecutors say 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree strangled Marlen Ochoa and cut her unborn baby from her womb, then passed the infant off as Clarisa’s. Shortly after she allegedly killed Ochoa, Figueroa called 911 to report she had just given birth and that the baby was in distress.
But newly released documents reveal there was a breakdown in communication between police and hospital staff.
Two weeks after, a social worker wrote, “I was in my office and the (doctor) came into my office and asked, ‘should this mother be making decisions on the baby because it may not be the baby’s mother’ … I did not now know what the doctor was talking about.”
The chief medical officer told investigators, “No one from the Administration or a Public Safety Officer knew that the CPD was in the building interviewing staff.”
“We (the Hospital Administration) heard about it on the news that a warrant for arrest (for Pt. #1) had been issued. The Administration had no direct communication with CPD.”
Since the hospital did not violate any Medicare requirements, there is no real punishment, but the hospital plans on making improvements to their communications with CPD when officers are in the hospital.
After nearly two months on life support, Ochoa’s baby, Yovanny Lopez, died Friday morning in his father’s arms, family spokeswoman Julie Contreras said.
“He is an angel, and he’s in his mom’s arms now,” Contreras said. “His father was able to hold him in his last minutes.”
The baby was not pulled off life support but rather died of natural causes.
“He is the victim of a heinous crime. He was ripped from the womb of his mother,” Contreras said. “If the Cook County State’s Attorney is listening to this, these criminals must be held – to the full extent of the law – accountable for his death,” she said.
The Figueroas were formally indicted earlier this week for first-degree murder in Ochoa’s slaying. The elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, is charged with concealing a homicide.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said it will make a final determination on any additional charges after the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office and Chicago Police Department complete their investigations.
Prosecutors have said the Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa plotted for weeks to kill Ochoa and steal her baby.
The baby’s real identity was not revealed for three weeks, after police investigating Ochoa’s disappearance conducted a DNA test on the baby and confirmed he is Ochoa’s. Detectives later found Ochoa’s body stuffed in a trash can at the Figueroas’ home.
Contreras said the family will have a private funeral for Yovanny.
The Figueroas and Bobak are due back in court June 26.