STICKNEY, Ill. — Relatives and the community gathered Thursday as visitation began for slain pregnant teenager Marlen Ochoa-Lopez.
Visitation for Ochoa-Lopez began at 3 p.m. at Mount Auburn Funeral Home at 4101 S. Oak Park Ave. in Stickney.
Relatives and friends, as well as those who never knew her, came out to pay their respects. She is being remembered as a dedicated mother who was full of dreams and joy.
“We don’t want to remember the way that she died but the way that she uplifted everybody with her love,” Lincoln United Methodist Church Student Pastor Cecilia Garcia said.
“We feel like Marlen is everybody’s daughter,” Lincoln United Methodist Church Pastor Emma Lozano said.
A spokesperson for the family said relatives are so grateful for all of the support they have received.
Ahead of the services, a number of relatives arrived in Chicago from Mexico: an uncle, two grandmothers and a great grandmother.
The family held a vigil outside Ochoa-Lopez's workplace Wednesday, and relatives also went to Advocate Christ Medical Center to visit and pray for her newborn son.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, were charged with first-degree murder in the case. They were accused of luring her to their South Side home in April with a promise of baby clothes and a stroller.
Investigators said Clarisa Figueroa tried to fool paramedics and hospital staff into believing she was the baby’s mother.
The baby boy, Yovani, remains in grave condition. He opened his eyes earlier this week, but the prognosis is still seemingly grim. The family told WGN the doctors don’t believe the infant can survive.
Advocate Christ Medical Center is under scrutiny for failing to alert authorities back in April, when the baby was rushed in for treatment and there were no signs Clarisa Figueroa had given birth.
Visitation continues at 9 a.m. Friday. The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home’s chapel. Ochoa-Lopez will be buried at Mount Auburn Memorial Park at the same Oak Park Avenue address.