Family of baby cut from murdered mother's womb charged thousands in medical bills

The infant died on June 14.
The infant died on June 14. Photo credit: Facebook/Cecilia Garcia

The family of a baby who died after being cut from his murdered mother's womb has been charged hundreds of thousands of dollars for the infant's medical care.

The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a bill sent to the Lopez family by Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The infant, subsequently named Yovanny Lopez, received medical care from the hospital after being taken there by his mother's murderer. 

Clarisa Figueroa, the woman accused of killing 19-year old mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and cutting the unborn infant from her womb, claimed the baby was her own after rushing the unresponsive infant to hospital.

Medical staff allegedly humoured Figueroa's claim despite her showing no indications of having given birth.

At least one of the bills sent to the family referred to Yovanny as "Figueroa, boy".

The Lopez family is said to have received bills amounting to over US$300,000 for "high complexity" care. The bills have inflicted "emotional distress" on the grieving family, according to their attorney, Frank Avila.

Avila says the hospital promised to waive the medical costs due to the horrific nature of the situation - yet the family continues to receive demands for payment. Yovanny's father, Yovani Lopez, does not have health insurance, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Advocate Christ Medical Center said in a statement the bill was sent "inadvertently", reports the publication.

Yovani Lopez and Avila have strongly criticised the hospital for failing to report the incident to authorities sooner.

Yovanny died on June 14 due to implications from a lack of oxygen, sustained when he was cut from his mother's womb. 

Figueroa, 46, and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree have been charged with first-degree murder for Yovanny's death. The women have pleaded not guilty after being indicted on murder and other charges for the brutal killing of his mother.

Figueroa and her daughter allegedly lured Ochoa-Lopez to their home on April 23. They then strangled the pregnant 19-year-old before cutting Yovanny from her body. Figueroa then posed as his mother after rushing him to the hospital.

The 46-year-old was arrested in May after DNA tests confirmed she was not the mother and authorities discovered Ochoa-Lopez's body outside Figueroa's home.

Avila has called the hospital's actions "monstrous".


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