A baby boy who was cut from his mother’s womb in April is defying the odds and making huge strides by breathing on his own.
Yovani Lopez Jr., who is now 6 weeks old, survived his mother’s murder in Chicago on April 23 and is now breathing without the aid of a machine, according to reports.
"It's still a long way to go for the baby, but the baby is fighting and surviving," Frank Avila, an attorney for the baby’s father, told reporters.
The child’s mother, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was reportedly strangled to death after she had gone to pick up free baby clothes from a woman, Clarisa Figueroa, whom she met through a Facebook group.
Police searched for the mom for weeks after she was reported missing, but it wasn't until May 15 that her body was discovered in a garbage can on the Figueroa property.
Police said Clarisa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, cut Yovani from Ochoa-Lopez after they strangled her to death with coaxial cable. Clarisa then allegedly called paramedics, and told them she had given birth and the baby was not breathing. The baby was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was put in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The entire story began to unravel, however, when a friend of Ochoa-Lopez's told police the mother had gone to pick up baby clothes from Clarisa and they tracked down the family.
After DNA testing the baby in the hospital, it was revealed the infant was Ochoa-Lopez’s. The baby wasn’t expected to survive initially, but the family has kept hope as little Yovani continues to fight.
“I have a lot of faith that the baby’s going to live. God is going to give me that miracle. We’re anxiously waiting to have him, to love him,” Yovani Lopez Sr., the baby's father, previously told reporters.
Clarisa, 46, and Desiree, 24, have been charged with murder, while Clarisa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, has been charged with concealing a homicidal death.