3 arrested, 1 other questioned in murder of pregnant teen; baby cut from womb remains in critical condition

Author: CBS Local Chicago
Marlen Ochoa. Photo via CBS Local

Chicago police are questioning four people in the brutal murder of Marlen Ochoa, a pregnant teenage mother whose body was found at a home in the Scottsdale neighborhood three weeks after she went missing.

Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said three of those people have been arrested, and one is considered a person of interest.

Ochoa’s body was dumped in a garbage can at a home in the 4100 block of 77th Place early Wednesday morning. Sources said she had been led to the basement, where she was strangled, and her baby was cut out of her womb.

“She did nothing to them. She was a good person. I don’t know what caused them to, knowing she had a family, a 3-year-old son,” said Yovani Lopez, Ochoa’s husband of four years.

According to family friends, Ochoa’s family has not been able to see her body. Ochoa’s mother showed up at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office on Wednesday while the office was closing. The family was expected to return Thursday morning.

Police took at least three people into custody at the home on 77th Place on Tuesday, three weeks after Ochoa went missing. She was nine months pregnant when she disappeared.

Family spokeswoman Cecilia Garcia said Ochoa went to that home on April 23, hoping to pick up some items for her baby, but never returned.

Garcia said the family believes Ochoa was lured to the house under false pretenses by a woman she had met through a Facebook group called “Help A Sister Out.” The woman apparently was offering to give away extra baby clothes and a stroller that had been given to her daughter.

“She was giving clothes away, supposedly under the pretenses that her daughter had been given clothes, and they had all these extra boy clothes, and that were the false pretenses that I believe led her to that house,” Garcia said.

Garcia said the same day Ochoa went to the house on 77th Place, someone called 911 to report a 46-year-old woman had given birth.

A neighbor said the woman living at the house ran outside holding a newborn and wearing a blood-smeared shirt, but she had no blood on her gray shorts.

The neighbor said the woman told her, “I just had the baby, and it’s not breathing.”

A Fire Department spokesperson confirmed a baby in distress was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center by ambulance from that address around 6:10 p.m. on April 23.

Garcia said the family told her police informed them DNA tests confirmed Tuesday the baby is Ochoa’s. The baby is in critical condition.

“It just seems surreal. You see this stuff on the movies. You never get to know someone, people actually are this evil,” Garcia said.

Garcia said the family has named the baby Yavani Yadiel Lopez.

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