A shocking photo shows a woman smiling and posing with a baby she allegedly ripped from the womb of his pregnant mother.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, is seen in the photo leaning over Yavani Yadiel Lopez at the Advocate Christ Medical Center after the baby boy was cut from the womb of his mother Marlen Ochoa.
It’s unclear when exactly the photo was taken and it is the first known photo of Figueroa in the hospital with Yavani, according to CBS.
Last week, Chicago police arrested Figueroa and two other people in connection with the April 23 murder of Ochoa, 19, whose unborn baby was taken from her womb after her death.
Clarisa Figueroa (pictured), 46, is seen in the photo leaning over Yavani Yadiel Lopez, the baby boy she allegedly cut from his mother’s womb
Police said Ochoa was lured to Figueroa’s home on April 23 with the promise of free baby supplies, but she was instead strangled, and her baby extracted from her womb.
Figueroa and her daughter Desiree, 24, have been charged with first degree murder.
Piotr Bobak, 40, whom police described as the elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, was charged with concealing the murder.
At a news conference, Chicago police chief Eddie Johnson called the crime ‘disgusting and thoroughly disturbing’.
‘I can’t even pretend to imagine what that family is going through right now. They should be celebrating the birth of a young baby. Instead, they’re mourning the loss of the mother and possibly that young child,’ Johnson said.
Police allegedly discovered Ochoa’s body hidden in a garbage can while serving a search warrant at Figueroa’s home last Tuesday night.
‘Apparently, Miss Ochoa had bought other baby items from Clarissa, so they knew each other,’ deputy chief Brendan Deenihan said.
On the day of Ochoa’s disappearance, Figueroa allegedly spoke with her through Facebook.
The nine-months-pregnant teen went to Figueroa’s home expecting to gather some baby clothes and other donated items, police said.
Authorities allege Figueroa and her daughter Desiree strangled the expectant mother with a coaxial cable and extracted the baby.
Within four hours of when Ochoa was last spotted driving on a road by surveillance cameras, the elder Figueroa called emergency services claiming she had delivered a baby that was not breathing.
The child was immediately hospitalized at the Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Chicago, and was initially in serious condition.
On April 23, Figueroa arrived by ambulance at the hospital with the baby boy, according to police.
She told doctors she had birthed him but showed no signs of labor.
At the time, Figueroa was covered in blood when she arrived at the emergency room but police say it belonged to Ochoa.
For weeks, Figueroa pretended the baby was hers and even set up a GoFundMe page asking for donations to help care for him.
On May 7, police who had been looking for Ochoa were given a tip by her friends about her contact with the Figueroa family on Facebook.
They went to the house, spoke to Clarisa’s daughter Desiree and found Ochoa’s car nearby afterwards.
They then ordered a DNA test which, a week later, revealed that the boy was Ochoa’s baby.
Now, Christ Medical Center is facing criticism over how doctors and nurses did not think it was suspicious when Figueroa, who previously had her Fallopian tubes tied, appeared in front of them.
The agency that licenses and inspects health care facilities in Illinois has started an investigation into the hospital.
Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold’s comments about the investigation mark the first time that a state agency has confirmed it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the treatment of the baby.
Arnold would not comment further on the investigation or say when it would be completed other than to say typically the department’s investigations take a few days.
But last week, she said that if the department determines rules or regulations were violated, a facility would be required to correct the problem.
And she said that the ultimate penalty for a facility would be the revocation of its license.
The hospital’s handling the case has raised questions, particularly since the Chicago Police Department and the state’s Department of Children and Family Services both said last weekend that staff at the hospital did not alert them after determining that Figueroa had not just given birth to the gravely ill newborn.
Ochoa’s family has been critical of the hospital and a representative of the family said they met on Monday with hospital staff to ask that they be provided copies of protocols it follows when it receives a baby who was born at home.
Cecilia Garcia said on Tuesday that the hospital had not yet provided that information but the family hoped that it would during a second meeting that has yet to be scheduled.
The hospital has declined to say whether or when it contacted authorities when it learned that Figueroa was not the baby’s mother, citing state and federal regulations.
Arnold’s comments come a day after the Cook County Sheriff’s Department said it would ask the state’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) if the hospital violated the state’s Abuse and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
The sheriff’s department says if DCFS determines that such a failure would constitute a violation of the act, it would conduct its own investigation.