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Mother, daughter indicted on charges alleging they killed pregnant woman and cut baby from womb

Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- A mother and daughter have been formally indicted on charges they lured a pregnant teenage mother to their home on Chicago's Southwest Side with promises of free baby clothes, then strangled her and cut her baby from the womb in a desperate bid to raise the child as their own.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree, 24, were indicted by a Cook County grand jury in the killing of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. The bizarre scheme left Ochoa-Lopez's baby boy with severe brain injuries.

The elder Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, also was indicted, on at least one count of concealing a homicidal death.

About half a dozen sheriff's deputies surrounded the three defendants in court Wednesday as prosecutors announced the indictment. The exact charges were not immediately made public.

All three are scheduled to return to the Leighton Criminal Court Building later this month to enter pleas of not guilty.

Family advocates said they were eager to see what charges would be filed in connection with Ochoa-Lopez's baby, who remains in intensive care.

 

"He suffered irrevocable brain damage," Julie Contreras, an activist working with the family, told reporters after court. "There's no medicine, no pill that can fix that. Only a miracle."

The gruesome details of the case stunned the city and garnered national media attention.

Prosecutors said the elder Figueroa had announced in October that she was pregnant -- a surprise to family who knew she had her fallopian tubes tied. Over the next several months, she posted photos on Facebook of an ultrasound and a decorated nursery, complete with a crib. She said she would name the baby Xander after a 20-year-old son who died last year, according to prosecutors.

As her phony due date drew near, prosecutors said, she and her daughter plotted to kill a pregnant woman to steal her baby.

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