CHICAGO — A Day of the Dead altar will be built Tuesday in honor of a young mother and her infant son who were murdered over two years ago.
The Mexican tradition honors the dead – and celebrates their lives.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was nine months pregnant when she was lured to a South Side home and murdered in 2019. Her son was cut from her womb. The infant survived for 53 days in the hospital before he died.
Organizers said one of the largest “Dia De Los Muertos” altars in Chicago will be built to remember them both. It will be set up in front of their mural in Pilsen, located at 16th Street and Newberry Avenue, along with candles and photos.
“Today we believe that spirits walk the Earth and as they walk the Earth, we remember them and we leave them things that they loved because we miss and we love them,” said United Giving Hope president Julie Contreras.
Marlen Ochoa Lopez’s father-in-law, her husband and her son continue to seek justice. The family says the pandemic has delayed the trials of three people linked to the murder – and justice for Marlen and Jadiel.
“As Marlen and Yadiel walk the earth today,” says Contreras, “we will whisper in their ears that we continue to seek justice for them and if there’s no justice there will be no peace, we promise them that.”