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A Chicago woman, Clarisa Figueroa, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 2019 murder of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, who was nine months pregnant. Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, lured Ochoa-Lopez into their home under the pretense of giving her free baby clothes. Once there, Figueroa strangled Ochoa-Lopez and cut her baby from her womb. Desiree Figueroa handed her mother a kitchen knife that was used in the gruesome act. The baby boy, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, died months later in June 2019.

The plot to murder Ochoa-Lopez and steal her baby began after Figueroa’s adult son died, and she began desperate for a newborn. She posted an ultrasound and photos of a decorated baby room on Facebook to deceive potential victims. In March 2019, she connected with Ochoa-Lopez on a pregnancy Facebook page, lying to her about being pregnant and luring her into their home with the promise of baby clothes. Ochoa-Lopez’s body was later found in a garbage can outside the Figueroa’s home after detectives discovered she had visited them. When Figueroa called 911 claiming to have given birth, nurses at the hospital became suspicious and DNA testing revealed the baby to be Ochoa-Lopez’s child.

Desiree Figueroa admitted to assisting her mother in the murder plot and testified against her, leading to her own 30-year prison sentence. Clarisa Figueroa entered a guilty plea of first-degree murder after initially pleading not guilty. Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas sentenced her to 50 years in prison, with no possibility of early release. Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, was also involved in helping clean up the crime scene and was sentenced to four years in prison for obstruction of justice. He was released on parole last year.

The murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and the theft of her unborn baby shocked and horrified the community, leading to widespread media coverage and public outrage. Figueroa and her daughter’s actions were premeditated and carefully planned, starting with the creation of a false pregnancy story on Facebook to lure Ochoa-Lopez into their home. The brutality of the crime, which involved strangling the victim and cutting her baby from her womb, highlighted the depths of Figueroa’s depravity and lack of remorse. The subsequent cover-up by Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, further darkened the motives behind the crime.

Despite the tragedy that befell Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and her baby, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, the legal system brought some measure of justice with the sentencing of Clarisa Figueroa and Desiree Figueroa. The guilty plea and convictions exposed the details of the heinous crime and provided closure for the victim’s family, who had to endure the loss of a young mother and her newborn child. The case also shed light on the importance of social media safety and awareness, as the initial contact between Figueroa and Ochoa-Lopez began on a Facebook page for pregnant women. Ultimately, the perpetrators of this horrific crime were held accountable, but the scars left on the victims and their loved ones will remain for a lifetime.

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