The pregnant woman found dead near a Chicago home after vanishing last month was likely murdered before her baby was cut from her body.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities identified human remains found near a residence at West 77th Place as missing 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, referred to in earlier reports as Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui. According to ABC 7 Chicago, police and the medical examiner refer to the victim as Marlen Ochoa-Lopez; Uriostegui is her mother’s name and Lopez is believed to be her married name.
Ochoa-Lopez was pregnant with her second child and near her May 5 due date when she reportedly made arrangements to meet a woman she met through a Facebook group called “Help a Sister Out.” The woman is believed to have offered to swap and/or donate baby items; claiming she had a daughter who had baby supplies she no longer needed.
A spokesperson for the victim’s family has accused that woman of luring Ochoa-Lopez to the home under false pretenses.
“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,” Cecilia Garcia told CBS Chicago.
Chicago police told NBC News they believe Ochoa-Lopez was murdered and the baby was taken out of her body.
“We believe that she was murdered and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the news station.
Citing unnamed police sources, CBS Chicago also reports that the baby is believed to have been “cut out” of the murdered woman’s body after she was allegedly lured to the basement of the home.
ABC 7 reports that Ochoa-Lopez’s official cause of death is ligature strangulation.
The news station also confirmed that a 911 call was made from the home where the victim is believed to have gone on the day she went missing. The caller reportedly said that a 46-year-old woman had given birth and that the baby was not breathing.
A neighbor also told ABC 7 that a woman who lives at the house on 77th street came outside on April 23 holding a baby who she said wasn’t breathing. She reportedly said she had given birth to the infant, and had blood on her shirt but none on her shorts.
The infant is currently in critical condition at local hospital. Four people — two men and two women — were taken in for questioning this week from the 77th address where Ochoa-Lopez’s remains were found in a garbage can on Wednesday.
Authorities have not identified any persons of interest, but sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that a 46-year-old woman is expected to be charged in connection to the murder.