Woman Who Helped Mom Cut Baby Out of Stranger's Womb Just Gave Birth in Jail

WGN News

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez
WGN News

Desiree Figueroa, 25, made national headlines in May when she was charged with helping her mother, Clarisa, kill 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and cut the baby out of her womb. She's once again making headlines for a surprising new twist in the story: Desiree herself has given birth to a child while in custody.

  • It was Clarisa Figueroa who is accused of luring Ochoa-Lopez to her Chicago home on April 23, after they met on a Facebook group for local mothers.

    Ochoa-Lopez is believed to have visited the home previously and accepted free baby items without any trouble. But on this occasion, things turned deadly. 

    Desiree was reportedly showing Ochoa-Lopez photographs of her late brother, who died last year of natural causes, when Clarisa came up behind her and strangled the teen with a coaxial cable, according to Fox News.

    Prosecutors say the pair then cut the baby from the mother's womb, placed the teen's body in a blanket and a trash bag, and dragged it outside to a garbage can in the backyard.

    The baby boy they had savagely cut from his mother's womb was clearly in distress, and he required immediate medical attention.

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  • Clarisa dialed 911, and when paramedics arrived, she pretended to have recently given birth herself inside the home. 

    For weeks, the baby remained in the ICU, under a fake name given by Clarisa, as she and several of her family members waited by his bedside. 

    At the same time, both police and Ochoa-Lopez's family were desperately searching for some trace of the teen mom, who had suddenly vanished.

    Finally, in mid-May, the truth came spilling out when police acting on a tip traced Ochoa-Lopez's abandoned car to a street near the Figueroas' home. A search of the home soon turned up the mother's body, and quickly led to Desiree and her mother being charged with first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, dismemberment of a human body, and concealment of a homicide.

  • Meanwhile, the baby remained in intensive care at Christ Medical Center, where his real family -- the Lopez family -- rushed to his bedside.

    Sadly, his injuries were too great. The baby, named Yovanny Lopez, died June 14, after he was unable to overcome severe brain injuries caused during his traumatic birth.

    “We were just praying and praying and he opened his eyes, and his dad said, 'Oh my God. He opened his eyes!'" Cecilia Garcia, a student pastor assisting the family, told CNN at the time.

    "We’ve been blessed," Garcia continued. "Although this is a really bad tragedy, they’re such a loving and humble family and it’s just so wrong what happened to them."

  • As for Desiree Figueroa's child, police aren't releasing any details surrounding the birth, other than to say it occurred Nov. 1.

    Authorities took Desiree to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County for the birth, and she was taken back to Cook County Jail afterward, Fox News reported.

    As for who the father is or what the baby's name and gender are, those details remain unclear. However, it appears she conceived in early 2019 -- at least a few months before she's accused of murdering Ochoa-Lopez to steal her baby for her mother.

    Figueroa and her mother have remained in custody since May 16 and are awaiting their trial, according to the Chicago Tribune.