Family of Baby Ripped From Mother’s Womb Sent Over $300K in Hospital Bills

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
July 19, 2019 Updated: July 19, 2019

The Illinois hospital that treated the newborn who was ripped from his mother’s womb has apologized to Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s family after they sent a hefty medical bill following the baby’s death.

The newborn, Yovanny Lopez, was cut from 19-year-old Ochoa-Lopez’s womb after two women strangled her to steal her baby. Yovanny passed away at Advocate Christ Medical Center from severe brain damage 53 days later on June 14.

One of the now-charged women, Clarisa Figueroa, 46, claimed for three weeks that she was the one who had just given birth to the baby boy. Her daughter, 24-year-old Desiree, has also been charged in the baby’s death.

Yovanny was on life support for almost two months, and died from lack of oxygen to the brain, said the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

However, the 19-year-old’s family and attorney, Frank Avila, said the hospital sent them medical bills weeks after the baby was ripped from the teen’s womb, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The bill, obtained by the Chicago Sun Times, also named the stolen baby as “Figueroa, boy.” The family had received a number of bills since April 23 totalling more than $300,000, according to Avila, the outlet reported.

The hospital later apologized in a statement and said it “regrets this error.” It said that the bill was “inadvertently sent.”

“Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the Ochoa-Lopez family during this difficult time,” the hospital said. “We have had discussions with the family regarding a bill that was inadvertently sent and we regret this error.

“We take our obligation to patient privacy seriously, and therefore are unable to comment further regarding care, services or billing.”

“According to reports, the hospital sent the family one of the medical bills on June 3, which was more than two weeks after Figueroa was arrested and charged over the incident.

Father of murder victim
Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body, in Chicago, Illinois, on May 16, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Other bills were issued during the time Figueroa claimed the newborn was her son, reported CBS Chicago.

Avila told CBS it was “atrocious” that the family of Ochoa-Lopez had been billed by the hospital, and described its staff as “monstrous” for causing “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to the Sun-Times.

“We don’t have the medical records and my client is getting bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hospital that has the Figueroa name on it and that’s atrocious,” he told CBS Chicago.

The news came as Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa were also charged in the death of newborn.

Clarisa Figueroa
This booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department on May 16, 2019, shows Clarisa Figueroa, who is charged in the death of 19-year-old expectant mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez (Chicago Police Department via AP)

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said the pair were denied bail on July 18 when they appeared in a hearing to face the new charges.

The mother-daughter duo are accused of luring Ochoa-Lopez to their home with the promise of free baby clothes before distracting her and killing her. Then, they allegedly forcefully extracted the baby from the 19-year-old’s womb before allegedly claiming the boy was Clarisa’s.

An autopsy from the medical examiner’s office, which ruled the newborn’s death as a homicide, found Yovanny Lopez died of “complications of anoxic encephalopathy, intrauterine hypoxia and maternal assault and demise,” reported Fox32.

Mother Ochoa-Lopez was found dead in a garbage can in the backyard of a house in Chicago on May 15 after she went missing on April 23.

The Sun-Times reported that the Figueroas appeared in court on Thursday clad in bright yellow jumpsuits. Judge Mary Marubio ordered both held without bail. They are due in court again on Aug. 6.

Last month, the pair pleaded not guilty to 27 charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery in a gruesome case that shocked Chicago, a city infamous for experiencing hundreds of homicides per year, and made headlines nationwide.

Clarisa’s boyfriend, 46-year-old Piotr Bobak, faces charges of concealing a homicide and obstruction of justice.

Epoch Times writer Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.