Three people were in custody Thursday in connection with the slaying of a pregnant Chicago teenager who had her baby cut from her womb, police said.
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, who was nine months pregnant and the mom of a 3-year-old child, was reported missing three weeks ago, according to Chicago Police Department officials.
“We believe that she was murdered and we believe that the baby [was] forcibly removed following that murder,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.
The baby boy was being treated at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, in grave condition, police said Thursday.
Ochoa-Lopez’s family named the baby Yadiel.
Ochoa-Lopez, who was initially identified by her mother’s maiden name, Uriostegui, was lured to a home in the Scottsdale neighborhood of Chicago on April 23 by someone offering free infant clothes on Facebook, police and relatives of the victim said.
She had been considered missing until her body was discovered this week at the same home where she intended to pick up the clothes, according to her relatives and police.
The Cook County medical examiner identified her body on Wednesday and said an autopsy showed Ochoa-Lopez died from ligature strangulation.
Her death was ruled a homicide.
Two women and a man were taken into custody and were being questioned by homicide investigators Thursday, police said.
“We believe all of them played some role in this unspeakable act of violence,” Guglielmi said.
Charges against the suspects, whose names were not released, are pending, police said.
“Why did these people, why did these bad people do this? She did nothing to them. She was a good person,” Ochoa-Lopez’s husband, Yovani Lopez, told ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago.
Police said that on the day Ochoa-Lopez went missing, paramedics responded to a call from a 46-year-old woman claiming she had just given birth. It was to the same house Ochoa-Lopez was headed to for what she thought was free baby clothes, police said.
The woman who called 911 told them the newborn was pale, blue and not breathing, authorities said.
A DNA test later revealed the newborn was Ochoa-Lopez’s child, relatives told WLS-TV.
“It just seems surreal,” said Cecilia Garcia, a spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez’s family. “Like you see this stuff on movies.”
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