US woman jailed for 50 years for cutting baby from victim’s womb

17 April 2024, 04:44

Baby Cut From Womb
Baby Cut From Womb. Picture: PA

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant.

A Chicago woman accused of luring a pregnant teenager to her home and cutting her baby from her womb with a butcher’s knife has pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Clarisa Figueroa, 51, seated in a wheelchair and wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit, did not provide a statement but answered “Yes” when Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas asked her if she understood she would need to serve the entire sentence and would not receive early release on parole, news outlets reported.

Prosecutors said she strangled 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez with a cable on April 23 2019, after luring the teenager to her home with the promise of free clothing for her unborn child. Ms Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant.

Figueroa then called emergency services, saying she had given birth and the child was not breathing.

Baby Cut From Womb
Photo provided by the Chicago Police Department of Clarisa Figueroa (Chicago Police Department via AP, File)

The child died about two months later.

Yovanny Lopez, the victim’s husband and the father of the child, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, described how the tragedy has affected him and the couple’s older child Joshua, who he said “has lost his mother forever”.

“The memory of my infant son’s last breath in my arms is complete agony,” he said in a statement read in Spanish and English in the courtroom. “God’s justice will be served upon you the day you die.”

Authorities say that not long after Figueroa’s adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant.

They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn baby, and posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page.

In March 2019, she and Ms Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women

Detectives investigating Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s disappearance learned that she had gone to the defendant’s home. Two weeks after her disappearance, police found her car parked nearby and were told by Desiree Figueroa, Clarisa’s daughter, that her mother recently had given birth.

DNA tests later determined the child was not Clarisa Figueroa’s.

Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found in a rubbish bin outside the Figueroa home.

Figueroa tricked her boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, into believing he was the father, police and prosecutors said.

He cleaned up the crime scene and was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty last year to obstruction of justice.

Desiree Figueroa, 29, pleaded guilty to murder in January for helping her mother and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She had agreed to give evidence against her mother.

By Press Association

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