A woman dubbed “womb raider'” and her daughter have pleaded not guilty to murdering a pregnant teenage mother and cutting her baby from her belly.
Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree, 24, have been charged with the murders of Marlen Lopez, 19, and her baby Yovany Yadiel.
On April 30, the premature infant was cut from his mother Marlen’s womb.
Marlen had gone to Clarisa’s home to pick up free baby clothes after speaking to her on Facebook.
Once inside the Figueroas’ home, prosecutors say Clarisa distracted Marlen with a photo album of her dead adult son.
She then placed an electric cable around her neck and strangled her to death.
Clarisa’s 24-year-old pregnant daughter Desiree was also in the room.
Marlen fought for her life by placing her fingers in between her neck and the cable. But Desiree pried Marlen’s fingers, one by one, away from her neck.
Once Marlen was dead, Clarisa took a butcher’s knife to her stomach, sliced it from side to side, then pulled Yadiel out.
They then discarded Marlen’s body in a trash can in their yard. Clarisa then called 911, claiming to have just given birth herself.
Despite being looked over by an obstetrics technician and having no physical signs of giving birth, no one raised the alarm.
Meanwhile, Marlen’s family were at home wondering where she had gone. Her husband Yovani reported her missing, but claims police immediately suspected him.
For weeks, the family pleaded for information about where she had gone.
It was only on May 8, that a friend of Marlen’s family told police she had been in contact with someone on Facebook to try to get free baby clothes.
When police finally investigated the Figueroas, they ordered a warrant for DNA testing on the baby.
When the test results came back proving that Clarisa was not the mother, detectives searched the Figueroas’ home. There they found Marlen’s body in the back yard.
The baby boy’s real father, Yovani, had been praying for his recovery and was hopeful that he would survive.
The baby boy opened his eyes, but never regained full brain function and was pronounced dead.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of baby Yovanny Jadiel Lopez. He passed away Friday June 14, 2019 from his severe brain injury.”