The widowed husband of a murdered pregnant woman has been captured holding his critically injured newborn in photos posted to Facebook.
A friend of the couple, Cecilia Garcia, posted the heartbreaking images following the murder of the newborn's mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Ochoa-Lopez had her unborn child cut from her body by her murderers.
The pictures show her husband, Yovany Lopez, cradling the baby who has been named Yadiel.
Yadiel was left in a critical condition with little brain function as a result of the attack.
The murder suspect allegedly cut the baby from Ochoa-Lopez's womb as part of a plan to raise the child as her own.
Garcia captioned the images: "We're praying for a miracle."
Ochoa-Lopez was reported missing on April 23 after she went to meet up with a 46-year-old woman, Clarisa Figueroa, who had promised her free baby clothing and a stroller.
Authorities say that after she arrived at the home in Scottsdale, Chicago, Figueroa and her daughter Desiree, 24, strangled Ochoa-Lopez with a cord before cutting the baby from her womb.
Aol.com reports that Figueroa then called an ambulance for the baby, who was blue in the face, and the pair were transported to Advocate Christ Medical Centre.
A spokesman said the hospital failed to alert the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after Figueroa arrived with a newborn in critical condition, despite showing no sign of having just given birth.
The spokesman said the department was not made aware of the case until May 9 after questions were raised about who had custody of the child, according to the Associated Press.
DNA testing of the newborn eventually proved that baby Yadiel's parents were Ochoa-Lopez and Yovany.
Both Figueroa and her daughter were arrested on Thursday 16 May after Ochoa-Lopez's body was discovered behind their home. Both women have been charged with first-degree murder, while the mother's boyfriend, 40, has been charged with concealment of a homicide.
Yovany Lopez and Ochoa-Lopez already share a three-year-old son together.
Ochoa-Lopez's funeral took place on Saturday 18 May.
Her grieving husband told CNN: "It's very painful to see your wife, with home you lived with for four years... with her eyes closed."