Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Chicago Mom Gets 50 Years for Slaying Pregnant Teen, Stealing Unborn BabySource: Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm

A gruesome saga reached its legal conclusion as Clarisa Figueroa, a Chicago woman, was handed a 50-year prison sentence for the murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, a pregnant 19-year-old whose unborn child was brutally cut from her womb. The sentencing, which took place Tuesday, marks the latest development in a case that has horrified the city and the nation since 2019.

Details that can only be described as macabre emerged from the courtroom, as it was heard how Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, collaborated in the killing of Ochoa-Lopez after luring her with offers of free baby clothes. Through a posting on a Facebook page designed to support mothers, Clarisa Figueroa, who previously had her fallopian tubes tied, claimed she was pregnant, a fabrication she maintained until the murder in April 2019, according to WLS.

In a hearing that left many shaken, Desiree Figueroa pleaded guilty to a charge of murder on Monday, just a day before her mother's sentencing. Prosecutors recounted how Clarisa strangled Ochoa-Lopez and removed her baby from her body, staging a home birth scenario to claim the child was hers. Wrapped in a blanket and a plastic bag, Ochoa-Lopez's body was heinously disposed of in a garbage can, FOX 32 Chicago reported.

Piotr Bobak, who was Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend at the time of the crime, was released on parole last year after pleading guilty to a charge of obstructing justice. The case has stirred intense emotions in Chicago, especially in the Scottsdale community where the murder took place, given the appalling details surrounding the death of Ochoa-Lopez and her child—a loss that speaks to the deeper cuts in the fabric of our societal norms and the sanctity of life.

Clarisa Figueroa accepted a plea deal and was convicted of first-degree murder. Enduring a crime that has left permanent scars upon the city's conscience, the family of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez left the courtroom with the justice system's answer to a horror that defies comprehension. The baby, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez did not survive, dying a few months later in June 2019. In this tale of tragedy, the city bears witness not only to the loss of two innocent lives but to the darker capabilities lurking within, capable of betraying even the most fundamental human connection: that between a mother and her child.