CHICAGO – A 5-year-old Southwest Side boy is honoring his mother days before Mother’s Day after she was brutally murder two years ago.
It was a killing that stunned the Chicago community. As Mother’s Day approaches, family and friends of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez held a giveaway Wednesday, in their words, to “plant the seeds of kindness.”
“The Lopez Project is creating a safe place where mothers can come and get diapers and wipes. And if Marlen had a place like that, maybe she never would have been a victim,” said Julie Contreras, an organizer of Wednesday’s diapers and baby wipes give away.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was brutally murdered in April of 2019 when she was eight months pregnant. Ochoa was lured to a home near 79th and Pulaski on the pretense of getting free baby items. Ochoa-Lopez was strangled and her unborn baby was cut from her womb but died two months later.
The defendants, Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree are charged with the murders. Clarisa’s boyfriend was charged as an accessory. All are still awaiting trial.
Five-year-old Joshua Lopez, Ochoa-Lopez’s son, attended the giveaway. Ahead of Mother’s Day, the diaper and baby wipes drive in Marlen’s honor was a Godsend, says Maria Galindo. The drive was also a great way to keep Marlen’s spirit alive and let Joshua and his dad Jovani know they are also loved and supported by many, attendees said.
“It’s helpful to me,” Galindo, who is pregnant, is due in November, said. “And thank God to Marlen’s family who is helping us. To her and her baby, I hope they are safe in heaven. And thank you for the help. It’s really helpful.”