CHICAGO: Police in Chicago charged three people Thursday (May 16) in connection with the murder of a pregnant teenager whose unborn baby was taken from her womb after her death.
Police said Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was lured to the home of someone she knew on Apr 23 with the promise of free baby supplies, was instead strangled to death, and her baby extracted from her womb.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, 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-Lopez's body hidden in a garbage can while serving a search warrant at Figueroa's home 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-Lopez'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-Lopez 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 has been hospitalised and reportedly is in serious condition. Police declined to confirm the baby's medical status.
Police said their missing person case took a turn when they first learned of the Facebook conversation and interviewed the Figueroas on May 7.
They obtained a search warrant after DNA evidence proved the baby was related to Ochoa-Lopez.