STICKNEY, Ill. — Relatives, friends and strangers alike honored Marlen Ochoa-Lopez at funeral services in suburban Stickney on Saturday.
The 19-year-old mother was nine months pregnant when she was lured to a South Side home in April and murdered. Her son was cut from her womb. He is in grave condition with no brain activity.
“We have a young Latina woman that was brutally murdered, but today I don’t want to remember that,” Julie Contreras said. “I want to remember Marlen.”
It was announced at the funeral Saturday that relatives are attempting to introduce a new bill in Springfield: Marlen’s Law. The bill would require anyone who walks into a hospital with a newborn — claiming to have given birth — to prove the child is theirs with a DNA sample.
Relatives said they don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s family. Despite a grim prognosis, family is clinging to hope Ochoa-Lopez’s son will survive. He is giving them a reason to live after suffering so much, they said.
“She will never be forgotten,” Contreras said. “She belongs to all of us.”
Yuridia Carbajal traveled with her family from Waukegan. She has a daughter who is the same age as Ochoa-Lopez.
“It’s something we all have to do to support each other,” Carbajal said. “We need to help each other, especially in hard moments.”
Services began at 9 a.m. Saturday at Mount Auburn Funeral Home, 4101 S. Oak Park Ave., Stickney, Ill.
Three people are charged in Ochoa-Lopez’s murder.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, is said to be the mastermind behind the attack, soliciting the help of her boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree Figueroa.
The Figueroa’s are accused of luring Ochoa-Lopez to their South Side home in April with a promise of baby clothes and a stroller. That’s where they reportedly strangled Ochoa-Lopez and cut her son from her womb. Bobak is charged with concealing the murder.
Prosecutors said seven months ago, Clarisa Figueroa started talking on social media about being pregnant, despite her neighbors saying she had her tubes tied.
Advocate Christ Medical Center is under scrutiny for failing to alert authorities when the baby was rushed in for treatment in April and there were no signs Clarisa Figueroa had given birth.