OAK LAWN, Ill — The family of a slain teenage mother gathered in Chicago Wednesday to see the infant who was cut from his mother's womb after she was strangled to death.
Newly arrived from Mexico, an uncle, two grandmothers and a great grandmother of the grief-stricken family of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez visited the baby boy, Yovani Yadiel Lopez, who remains at Advocate Christ Medical Center in grave condition.
It has been a bittersweet family reunion.
"Personally, I feel happy but at the same time sad because this is not the way I wanted to see my mom after 20 years,” Ochoa-Lopez’s mother Raquel Uriostegui said.
The infant’s paternal grandmother Custodia Castro Rodriguez is full of hope. She told reporters after emerging from her emotional encounter, “He’s going to recuperate. … little by little. I feel like he’s going to recuperate. I feel it in my heart.”
Yovani opened his eyes earlier this week, but the prognosis is still seemingly grim. The family told WGN the doctors don’t believe the infant can survive.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, were charged with the first-degree murder of Ochoa-Lopez. They were accused of luring her to their South Side home in April with a promise of baby clothes and a stroller.
Investigators said Figueroa tried to fool paramedics and hospital staff into believing she was the baby’s mother.
Family said they’re very grateful to the staff caring for Yovani at but they also question whether a communication breakdown may have delayed the search for answers about Ochoa-Lopez's murder.
Her family held a small vigil Wednesday night at a nail salon in Little Village where Ochoa-Lopez worked.
Visitation for Ochoa-Lopez will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Mount Auburn Funeral Home at 4101 S. Oak Park Ave. in Stickney.
The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home’s chapel. Ochoa-Lopez will be buried at Mount Auburn Memorial Park at the same Oak Park Avenue address.