As 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez struggled for her life, slipping her fingers under the electrical cable around her neck, her accused killer allegedly yelled at her daughter for help with the grisly killing: “You’re not doing your fucking job!”
Following her mother’s order, 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa allegedly pried the nine-month pregnant teenager’s fingers from the cord and then brought 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa a butcher’s knife from the kitchen, which they used to cut Ochoa-Lopez’s baby from her womb.
The grisly new details in the murder of the pregnant teen were revealed by Cook County prosecutors in court Friday.
Prosecutors said Clarisa Figueroa, whose twentysomething son died two years ago of natural causes, had pretended to be pregnant for seven months, and that the pair plotted Ochoa-Lopez’s murder on April 23 for nearly four weeks, scheming to steal her child.
Both women were charged with first-degree murder and felony aggravated battery after Desiree allegedly confessed to helping her mother with the slaying. Ochoa-Lopez was found in a trash can behind Clarisa’s Chicago home on May 15, police said.
“If someone confesses to a murder, then they should not have the right to live free among us,” Julie Contreras, spokeswoman for the family and chair of LULAC National Immigration Committee, said outside of court Friday.
The elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, has also been charged with concealing a homicide in what Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz called a “brutal and heinous” attack.
“It was cold, calculated and premeditated,” Ortiz said at the trio’s bond hearing on Friday, before they were ordered to be held without bail.
Prosecutors alleged the pair first discussed the idea of killing Ochoa-Lopez on April 1, when the pregnant teen stopped by their Southwest Chicago house to pick up free baby supplies.
“I need help killing a pregnant woman and taking a baby,” Clarisa Figueroa allegedly later told her daughter, according to Desiree’s videotaped confession.
The 24-year-old, who is four-months pregnant, told her mother’s boyfriend—who was at the house and overheard the sinister plot—that the idea was nothing but “an April Fool’s joke” and pleaded with him not to call the police, prosecutors said.
Authorities allege that on April 23, Ochoa-Lopez stopped by Clarisa Figueroa’s house to grab more free baby supplies before picking up her 3-year-old son from day care.
“While there, the victim sat on the couch in the living room. Defendants Clarisa and Desiree turned up the volume of the music and went into the kitchen together,” prosecutors said. “While in the kitchen, they discussed their plan to strangle the victim and cut the victim’s baby out of her.”
Desiree Figueroa then distracted Ochoa-Lopez with a photo album of her dead brother, Xander, while her mother ambushed the teen from behind, strangling her with a coaxial cable “for up to five minutes,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Despite Ochoa-Lopez’s attempts to fight back, the 19-year-old eventually stopped struggling and wet herself, Murphy said. Clarisa Figueroa allegedly told her daughter that meant the teen “must be dead,” and they then proceeded to remove the baby from her womb, according to Murphy.
Ochoa-Lopez’s baby was found on April 23—three hours after the young mom was last seen leaving her high school to pick up her 3-year-old son at day care—when Figueroa called paramedics for help. She told dispatchers she had given birth to the baby boy inside her house, but he was suffering from “post-delivery issues.”
The baby, who was named as Yovani Yadiel on Wednesday, remains in “grave condition” at Christ Hospital. According to police, the baby suffered severe brain damage and is not expected to survive.
On May 7, authorities said they got a break in the case after one of the teen’s friends told police she had been chatting with the elder Figueroa. Through an anonymous tip, police also found a GoFundMe campaign the 46-year-old started to raise $9,000 for the baby’s funeral, saying he was very sick and about to die. Garcia said Thursday that police finally concluded the women was not the baby’s mother after conducting a DNA test.
When police showed up to Clarisa’s home early Wednesday morning, her boyfriend was found washing a rug with bleach, authorities said. Moments later, they located Ochoa-Lopez’s body in a trash can that also contained the cable used to strangle the teen and remnants of burned clothes.
Prosecutors on Friday also laid out chilling new details of the events leading up to the pregnant teenager’s murder, including a trail of clues left on Clarisa Figueroa’s Facebook as she desperately tried to fool her friends into thinking she was having a baby in May.
The 46-year-old allegedly pretended to be pregnant for months ahead of the premeditated attack, despite the fact that her tubes were tied, even posting a doctored sonogram on Facebook in December to announce she was expecting.
In February, Figueroa wrote on Facebook she was planning to name her newborn Xander—after her dead son—and posted a photo of a crib and a decorated nursery, prosecutors said. A month later, she posted about her pregnancy in the Facebook group,“Help A Sister Out,” the same 32,000-person group of which Ochoa-Lopez was a member.
“Who’s due in May? Where the May mama’s at?” Clarisa Figueroa allegedly wrote on Facebook, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said it was that post that led to a conversation with the 19-year-old, whose expected due date was May 7. Figueroa immediately offered Ochoa-Lopez new baby clothes, and suggested they communicate privately, authorities said.