Chicago Grandma, 51, Admits to Strangling Pregnant Teen, Cutting Unborn Baby From Womb, Hiding Body in Trash

Clarisa Figueroa
Clarisa Figueroa (bottom left) and Desiree Figueroa (top left) have both pled guilty to first-degree murder after killing a pregnant teenager and cutting her unborn child out of the womb (baby with Clarisa in hospital on right).CCSO

Clarisa Figueroa cut open Marlen Ochoa Lopez's womb, extracted the unborn child, put the dead mother's body in a trash bag, and then stashed the bag in a trash can by her garage, according to court documents.

A Chicago woman will serve a 50-year prison sentence after confessing to the 2019 murder of a pregnant teenager.

Clarisa Figueroa, 51, entered a guilty plea to a single count of murder in court on Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors, according to court records.

That guilty plea comes five years after the brutal murder of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa Lopez, who had her baby cut from her womb just weeks before her due date and was then tossed into a bag and jammed into a trash can, according to authorities.

The baby survived for a few days outside the womb before passing away at a nearby hospital.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Peggy Chiampas sentenced Clarisa to 50 years in prison without the possibility of parole after she changed her plea on Tuesday, the same sentence recommended by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Clarisa did not speak in court, but the husband and father of the two victims did prepare a statement read by an advocate.

“The memory of my infant son’s last breath in my arms is complete agony,” said Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “God is the judge of all judges, and today Jesus is Marlen and Jadiel’s attorney, and God’s justice will be served upon you the day you die.”

A bond court proffer obtained by Inside Edition Digital said that Clarisa, who was 46 at the time, told her daughter Desiree she was pregnant in 2018 even though she had her tubes tied.

She shared a photo of an ultrasound on social media a few months later and then joined a Facebook group for moms and moms-to-be, according to the proffer.

That is where Clarisa met the pregnant woman who would become her victim, Marlen Ochoa Lopez.

Clarisa spoke about preparing a nursery and getting ready for the arrival of her son Xander, the same name of the son she had lost one year prior, according to the proffer.

She sought out the victim because of her May due date and offered to provide her with free baby clothes, according to the proffer.

Ochoa-Lopez first visited the Figueroa home on April 1, at which time Desiree told her boyfriend, who was also present in the house, about her mother's plan to murder the young woman, according to the proffer.

When the boyfriend threatened to call the police, Desiree cited the date of April 1 and said it was an April Fool's joke, said the proffer.

Ochoa-Lopez then visited the house a few weeks later, which is when the two women allegedly carried out the brutal murder.

The proffer details how the women allegedly killed Ochoa-Lopez:

Clarisa wrapped a cable around her hands and then wrapped it around [Ochoa-Lopez's] neck from behind her. [Ochoa-Lopez] attempted to stop Clarisa and was able to place her fingers between her neck and the cable. At that point, Clarisa told Desiree "You’re not doing your f***ing job." Desiree then stepped up and began to peel [Ochoa-Lopez's] fingers from the cable one by one. Once [Ochoa-Lopez's] fingers were no longer blocking the cable, Clarisa tightened the cable around [Ochoa-Lopez's] neck. 

Once Ochoa-Lopez was dead, Clarisa allegedly got to work removing the unborn child from the dead teen's womb, said the proffer.

She allegedly cut open Ochoa-Lopez's womb, extracted the unborn child, put the dead mother's body in a trash bag, and then stashed the bag in a trash can by her garage, according to the proffer.

Clarisa then called 911 to report that she had given birth and the baby was not breathing, said the proffer, a decision that proved to be crucial for investigators.

The baby tragically died, and doctors quickly realized Clarisa had not given birth. A DNA test then showed that Ochoa-Lopez was the mother of the child, said the proffer.

Police then discovered the victim's body in the trash during a search of Clarisa's residence, said the proffer.

This information and the details about the murder largely come from a "full video recorded confession" made by Clarisa's daughter Desiree, according to the proffer.

Mother and daughter were arrested after police discovered the body. Six months later, Desiree gave birth in prison.

At the time of her arrest, Clarisa still claimed that it was her baby who died and had even created a GoFundMe account seeking funds to help her after what she claimed was her loss.

Desiree pled guilty to first-degree murder earlier this year after striking her own deal with prosecutors..

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office told Inside Edition Digital back in January that under the plea agreement, their office would recommend a sentence of 30 years in prison for Desiree if she agreed to testify against her mother.

Clarisa's decision to change her plea came days before the trial, with Desiree scheduled to take the stand and testify for the prosecution.

Police also arrested Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend Piotr Bobakis in 2019 for aiding the women in cleaning up the crime scene. According to court records, he received a four-year sentence for that crime in 2023 but was credited with time served and given early release from jail. He was then deported as part of his sentence.

Lawyers for both Desiree and Clarisa did not respond to requests for comment.

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