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State not alerted for weeks that woman may not be baby’s mom

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, Clarisa Figueroa

CHICAGO — Illinois’ child welfare agency says more than two weeks passed before it was alerted that a woman taken to a Chicago-area hospital with a gravely ill newborn may not be his mother, even though she arrived bloodied and showed no signs of giving birth.

Clarisa Figueroa is charged with killing 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Chicago police say she cut Ochoa-Lopez’s baby out of her womb on April 23, then called 911 to report she had given birth to a baby who wasn’t breathing. Paramedics took Figueroa and the baby to Advocate Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn.

Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jassen (JAY-son) Strokosch said Saturday the agency was alerted May 9 that there were questions about who had custody of the child in order to make medical decisions.

The hospital declined to say whether or when it contacted authorities.

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