Chicago

Ochoa Case: Mother-Daughter Duo Plead Not Guilty After Indictment in Baby’s Death

Desiree and Clarisa Figueroa were both ordered held without bail Monday after entering their not guilty plea in connection with an indictment filed earlier this month

The mother and daughter charged with killing a pregnant Chicago teen and cutting her unborn baby from her womb pleaded not guilty Monday after they were indicted the death of the young mother's infant. 

Desiree and Clarisa Figueroa were both ordered held without bail Monday after entering their not guilty plea in connection with the indictment filed earlier this month. 

They are expected to appear in court again on Sept. 10. 

The Figueroas were charged with murder last month and indicted on Aug. 6 after the infant who was ripped from Ochoa's womb following her death died at a Chicago hospital in June. 

Ochoa's family said they welcomed the new indictment, but also want to see murder charges against Clarisa Figueroas boyfriend, who was also accused of helping to conceal the murder. 

Family members also said they wanted to keep pressure on the Cook County state's attorney's office. 

“I want them to get a fair trial...but then I want to see them spend the rest of their life in jail and an eternity in hell," said activist and family spokesperson Julie Contreras. 

Ochoa's infant child died weeks after his mother's murder. The baby's death was ruled a homicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner, who determined the child died from a lack of oxygen and blood to his brain and cited "maternal assault and demise." 

The Figueroas, along with Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend Piotr Bobak, had already pleaded not guilty in Ochoa's death.

The mother and daughter pair were charged with first-degree murder in the Ochoa's grisly killing. Bobak was charged with concealing the homicide. 

Authorities say that 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, she and Ochoa connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.

Prosecutors alleged the mother-daughter pair lured Ochoa to their home, where they offered to give her clothes and other items for her unborn child. As Desiree Figueroa was showing Ochoa a photo album of her late brother to distract her, Clarisa Figueroa sneaked up behind her and strangled her with a cord before her baby was cut from her womb.

Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that her newborn baby was not breathing. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to resuscitate the infant and took him to Christ Medical Center, where he remained until his death.

Prosecutors said 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa was examined in a birthing center at Advocate Christ Medical Center on April 23 after claiming to have given birth, "but showed no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby."

A technician at the Oak Lawn hospital cleaned blood from Figueroa’s arms, face and hands, prosecutors said, but it was unclear if anyone verified that she had actually given birth. Figueroa was allegedly able to pass off the baby as her own for weeks.

An investigation from the Illinois Department of Public Health cleared the hospital in the case, but noted deficiencies in their process. 

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