Death of baby ripped out of slain Chicago mother in 'womb raider' attack ruled as homicide
The victim of the infamous 'womb raider' case, baby boy Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, spent his short life on support machines with severe brain damage and died on the morning of June 14
The death of a Chicago baby boy who passed away 53 days after he was ripped out from his slain mother’s womb has been ruled a homicide, according to reports. The victim of the infamous 'womb raider' case, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez spent his short life on support machines with severe brain damage and died on the morning of June 14.
The baby died in his father Yovany Lopez’s arms, according to a statement from Julie Contreras, a spokeswoman for the families of Lopez and Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, his slain mother. The young 19-year-old was discovered dead on May 15, three weeks after she’d gone missing just ahead of her due date.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office announced the baby’s cause of death was lack of oxygen and blood to his brain and a prolapse of the umbilical cord and placenta due to maternal assault and demise, stated a Chicago Tribune report. His mother's cause of death was ligature strangulation, according to the medical examiner.
Police reportedly charged mother and daughter duo Clarisa Figueroa and Desiree Figueroa with first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13 in the attack on mother-of-one Ochoa-Lopez. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speculated the suspects wanted to “raise the child as their own” after Clarisa allegedly faked a pregnancy.
The 46-year-old then called 911 on April 23, the same day that the victim went missing, to claim she’d just delivered a boy who was struggling to breathe. Due to lack of oxygen, Yovanny continued to struggle and was placed on life support. He was admitted to the hospital in what police described as "grave" condition.
According to the police, the mother and daughter planned the attack in the preceding weeks. Clarissa reportedly lured the nine-months-pregnant victim to her home with the promise of baby items after the two had connected on a Facebook group for new and expecting mothers.
It is further being reported that a third person, Desiree’s boyfriend Piotr Bobak, has also been charged for his alleged involvement, and faces one felony count of concealment of a homicide. The accused, who remain in custody, will be asked to enter pleas to the charges when they are next in court on June 26.
Frank Avila, the victim's attorney addressed media shortly after the baby’s death. "The baby did not just die, the baby was murdered and we demand justice. The baby did die of natural causes, of course, but natural causes that were inflicted by the brain injured cause from the asphyxiation of his mother. That was a murder and murder charges should be brought," Avila said.