Father Asks for Prayers After Wife Is Murdered, Son Is Ripped From Her Womb

Yovani Lopez with baby Yadiel
Yovani Lopez with baby Yadiel (Cecilia Garcia)

A young father is asking for prayers after his wife was murdered and their child was ripped from her womb.

"With all my heart I keep asking for your help. Pray as My Son Yovanny (Y)adiel Recovers. Thank you very much for the prayers and support that you have given me, I have no more words of thanks. God bless you. This help that you all are giving me will be for the future of my children Thank you, My children will forever be grateful... God bless you," Yovani Lopez writes in a GoFundMe page for his family.

Lopez reported his wife, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, missing in April.

CNN reports a mother-daughter team strangled Ochoa-Lopez and cut the baby out of her womb so the mother, Clarisa Figueroa, could raise the child as her own. Ochoa-Lopez's body was found in the Figueroa's backyard trashcan.

A PBS affiliate offers further details:

The family of Ochoa-Lopez, a married mother of a 3-year-old son, said a woman on Facebook had lured her to the home by offering a stroller and baby clothes.

A break in the investigation came after Clarisa Figueroa set up an online fundraising campaign, another spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez's family said. The GoFundMe campaign said that the baby was about to die and money was needed for a funeral, Sara Walker said.

Police then conducted DNA tests to determine that Ochoa-Lopez and her husband, Yiovanni Lopez, were actually the baby's parents, Walker said.

The atrocity, though, has brought the Ochoa and Lopez families together.

"It's been five years since I've seen my mother. It's something beautiful," Lopez said in Spanish. "We didn't want it this way, but only God knows why he takes someone."

Ochoa-Lopez's family traveled from Mexico to for Ochoa-Lopez's visitation and funeral and to see baby Yadiel, who is still on life support and unable to swallow. Doctors say the child is brain-dead.

Ochoa-Lopez's father, Arnulfo Ochoa, clings to his faith for his grandson.

"The doctors say he doesn't feel anything," Ochoa said. "But when we touch him, he reacts. The baby is getting better. This is the gift Marlen left me. I'm going through something so bad, but my faith in God is keeping me going."

The Chicago Tribune reports the family has been singing church hymns to the little boy and talking to him, careful with the breathing tube and connections to monitors.

"We want him to know we love him," Ochoa said. "That positivity is helping him. He is a miracle of God."

Ochoa-Lopez's alleged killers, Figueroa and her daughter Desiree, have both been charged with murder. Police also charged Clarisa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, with concealing a homicidal death.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $45,000 of its $50,000 goal to help the Lopez family.

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