The woman believed to be among those questioned in the murder of a pregnant 19-year-old Chicago woman started a GoFundMe page asking for funeral expenses, claiming she had just given birth to a baby boy who was expected to die.
Sara Walker, one of the spokespeople for the family of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, told the Chicago Sun-Times that a 46-year-old woman believed to be in police custody launched a GoFundMe campaign asking for $9,000 for “her” newborn baby, though neighbors said the woman showed no signs of being pregnant — and a baby taken to the hospital from her address on April 23 belongs to Ochoa-Lopez, her family has said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ochoa-Lopez was found dead at or near a residence on West 77th Place in Chicago, which is also where paramedics responded to a 911 call on April 23 about a baby in distress, purportedly born to a 46-year-old woman. Ochoa-Lopez, a 19-year-old pregnant mother of one, vanished on April 23, and had a due date of May 5.
Authorities have classified her death as a homicide.
“We believe that [Ochoa-Lopez] was murdered and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told NBC News.
Four people were reportedly taken in for questioning, and three have since been arrested but authorities have not released the names of any suspects of persons of interest. A neighbor told the Chicago Sun Times that she saw the 46-year-old woman who allegedly claimed to have had a baby, her daughter, her boyfriend, and her daughter’s boyfriend taken into custody from the West 77th Place address on Tuesday.
Pictures of Marlen Ochoa’s baby. Family’s pastor says he is in critical condition and on life support. Marlen was strangled. Her baby was cut out of her womb. Police say three people are under arrest and charges are pending. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/Uf7Y6Ix8B0
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) May 16, 2019
Walker told the Chicago Sun-Times that an anonymous tip led authorities to test the newborn’s parentage. The three-week-old infant is reportedly on life support in “grave condition,” according to a police source who spoke to the newspaper.
The woman believed to be connected to the murder and the violent forced delivery of Ochoa-Lopez’s baby — who was reportedly cut from the womb — claimed that the baby was about to die and that she needed money for his funeral, Walker told the newspaper.
According to a screenshot of the GoFundMe campaign shared on Twitter by a Fox 32 Chicago reporter, the campaign earned at least $1,255 before it was removed from the website.
Family of #MarlenOchoa says a @gofundme was set up by the woman who claims Marlen’s baby boy is hers. The woman said in the post she gave birth the same day Marlen went missing. Marlen’s family says DNA proves the baby is the missing teen’s. @gofundme pulled the page. @fox32news pic.twitter.com/CzfNyiNK0E
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) May 15, 2019
Authorities are expected to release more information about the arrests and the suspects on Thursday.
CrimeOnline will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.