Friends and family are in mourning after the murder of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa, and while a memorial grows outside the home where she was killed, relatives are grappling with a decision over how to proceed with medical care for her gravely ill baby.
On Saturday, a large crowd gathered in front of the home near the intersection of 77th and Pulaski where Ochoa’s body was found earlier this week. Flowers, candles, and balloons were left at the scene, filling the front yard as mourners gathere dto pay their respects to a young life cut short in a heinous killing that has horrified the nation.
While the memorial grew, family members continued to grapple with the decision over how to proceed with the care of Ochoa’s child. The baby, allegedly cut from her womb by 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, remains in grave condition at Christ Hospital, and the family will meet with doctors at the facility to determine their next course of action.
The baby remains on life support, but his family says that he is brain dead and unlikely to make a full recovery.
During Monday’s discussion with doctors about next steps, the family is also expected to speak to hospital representatives about the protocols followed in the aftermath of the April 23 attack that left Ochoa dead and her baby clinging to life. The hospital admitted the baby, along with Clarisa Figueroa, after the 46-year-old woman claimed she had given birth to the baby at her South Side home.
Testing showed that Figueroa had not recently given birth, and she left the hospital in the days following her admission to the facility.
Funeral arrangements have also been put in place for Ochoa, who will be honored with visitation services on Thursday and Friday, her family says. Her funeral will be held on Saturday, and all three services will be held at a funeral home in suburban Stickney.
Ochoa’s family is also seeking permission for both of her sets of grandparents to travel to Chicago for the funeral. Her relatives plan to fly from Mexico to Chicago on Tuesday, and the grandparents are seeking humanitarian visas, according to a spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, Ochoa’s alleged killers remain in prison after they were denied bond during a Friday court hearing. Desiree and Clarisa Figueroa face first-degree murder charges in the slaying, and 40-year-old Piotr Boback faces felony charges of helping to conceal the crime.
The next court appearance for the three defendants is June 3.