Baby Boy Ripped From Slain Chicago Mom’s Womb Has No Brain Function, Family Says
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was strangled to death
The infant boy police say was ripped from his mother’s womb after she was strangled to death has no brain function, according to the slain woman’s family members.
Prior to the discovery of her dead body on Wednesday, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, who also went by the last name Ochoa-Uriostegui, was reported missing on April 23, when she was nine months pregnant. A Chicago police spokeswoman tells PEOPLE authorities believe her baby boy was forcibly removed from her body that day, after the mom was killed.
The police spokeswoman described the baby’s condition as “grave” and said he is being treated at a local hospital.
Fox 32 reports the family has no plan to take the boy — named Yavani Yadiel Lopez — off life support and is holding out hope he will survive.
Authorities first became aware of the baby when a 46-year-old woman called 911 reporting that her baby — which authorities believe was actually Ochoa-Lopez’s — was not breathing. The 911 call came from the same block as the home at which Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found weeks later, according to the spokeswoman.
Three people are in custody and charges are pending, the spokeswoman says, but she did not confirm whether the 46-year-old woman who called 911 was one of those people.
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The Chicago Police Department’s chief spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, told the Chicago Tribune, “We believe all of them played some role in this unspeakable act of violence.”
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirms to PEOPLE that Ochoa-Lopez’s death was a homicide, and that the cause of death was ligature strangulation.
The Chicago Tribune previously reported that Ochoa-Lopez was last seen leaving Latino Youth Alternative High School. She is married and has a 3-year-old son she was supposed to pick up from day care on the day she disappeared.
At a Wednesday press conference, Cecilia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the family, told reporters Ochoa-Lopez was possibly lured to the home by a woman she met on a Facebook group for young mothers who told her she was giving away clothes, The Washington Post reports. (Reps for Facebook did not immediately comment to PEOPLE.)
“She was giving clothes away, supposedly under the pretense that her daughters had been given clothes and they had all these extra boy clothes. That’s the false pretenses that we believe led [Ochoa-Lopez] to that house,” Garcia said.