19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was last seen April 23, leaving her school to meet a woman she met in a Facebook group called "Help a Sister Out". At the time, Ochoa-Lopez was 9 months pregnant and meeting the woman who said that she had free baby clothes and a stroller to give to someone in need. Ochoa-Lopez had told her husband and other relatives she'd planned to meet the woman at a home in the 4100 block of West 77th Place. Later that evening, when she'd failed to pick up her 3-year-old son from daycare, she was reported missing.
That same evening, just hours after she was reported missing, a call came in to Chicago emergency services for a baby boy who'd been born at home that was in distress. The woman claimed she'd given birth at home and was experiencing "post birth complications". That child was admitted to the hospital and has been on life support for nearly a month!
The city was able to connect the dots through an anonymous tip that claimed the baby's "mother" had started a GoFundMe account claiming her baby was dying and she needed money for his final expenses and medical care. That tip lead to a DNA test between the infant and DNA found on Ochoa-Lopez's toothbrush which, as expected, yielded a positive match.
Her remains were found in a garbage can just after midnight on Wednesday night.
Multiple people from the Southwest Side home where the teen went to pick up baby clothes have since been taken into custody for questioning.
Police were reportedly questioning a 46-year-old woman, her boyfriend and her daughter. Charges have yet to be filed.
'We believe all of them played some role in this unspeakable act of violence,' said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Via Chicago Tribune:
"On May 8, more than two weeks after the ambulance call, Ochoa-Lopez's black Honda Civic was found abandoned in the 7700 block of South Keeler Avenue, a few blocks from where her body was discovered.
On Tuesday afternoon, police officers were seen escorting several people from the home. The Police Department would only say that officers “are conducting interviews of individuals in regard to this missing person investigation.”
About 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, the medical examiner's office was notified of a body at the 77th Place address.
"The family has been on a roller coaster," said Emma Lozano, a pastor at Lincoln United Methodist Church. "It’s hard for them to find words. Everybody is struggling with this.”
The baby boy, named Yadiel Yovany Lopez by his family, is said to still be on life support with no brain activity. His family has no plans to remove him from the machines keeping him alive.
Giovanni Lopez, Ochoa-Lopez's husband, said the family is determined to get justice.