Woman in US gets 50 years for cutting child from victim’s womb

By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

A Chicago woman accused of luring a pregnant teenager to her home and cutting her baby from her womb with a butcher knife nearly five years ago pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Content warning: This story contains details that may be distressing.

Clarisa Figueroa, 51, seated in a wheelchair and wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit, did not provide a statement but answered “Yes” when Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas asked her if she understood she would need to serve the entire sentence and would not receive early release on parole, news outlets reported.

Prosecutors have said Figueroa strangled 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez with a cable on April 23, 2019, after luring the teenager to her home with the promise of free clothing for her unborn child.

Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant.

Figueroa then called 911, saying she had given birth and the child was not breathing.

The child died about two months later.

Clarisa Figueroa
Clarisa Figueroa (Source: Associated Press)

Yovanny Lopez, the victim’s husband and the father of the child, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, described how the tragedy affected him and the couple’s older child, Joshua, who he said “has lost his mother forever.”

“The memory of my infant son’s last breath in my arms is complete agony,” he said in a statement read in Spanish and English in the courtroom. “… God’s justice will be served upon you the day you die.”

Authorities say not long after Clarisa Figueroa’s adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant.

They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn, and that she posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page.

In March 2019, she and Ochoa-Lopez connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women

Detectives investigating Ochoa-Lopez’s disappearance learned that she had gone to the defendant’s home.

Two weeks after her disappearance, police found her car parked nearby and were told by Desiree Figueroa, Clarisa’s daughter, that her mother recently had given birth.

DNA tests later determined the child was not Clarisa Figueroa’s.

Ochoa-Lopez’s body was found in a garbage can outside the Figueroa home.

Clarisa Figueroa tricked her boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, into believing he was the father, police and prosecutors said.

Bobak cleaned up the crime scene and was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty last year to obstruction of justice.

Desiree Figueroa, 29, pleaded guilty to murder in January for helping her mother and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She had agreed to testify against her mother.

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