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Investigators to check hospital's actions in case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's baby

By Jason Hanna, Marlena Baldacci and Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) -- Now that police believe a Chicago woman killed a pregnant teen, cut the unborn baby from her womb and pretended the infant was hers, investigators will check whether the hospital that received the baby should have reported any suspicions to the state.

The Cook County Sheriff's office said Monday it will ask the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services whether Advocate Christ Medical Center followed protocols in the case of Clarisa Figueroa, who police say killed the baby's mother last month, CNN affiliate WGN reported.

An Advocate Christ Medical Center spokesman told CNN on Monday that he cannot comment about the case.

"Our top priority is to provide the safest and highest quality care for the patients and communities we serve. Out of respect for patient privacy and in compliance with federal and state regulations, we are unable to provide comment. We continue to cooperate with local authorities," medical center spokesman Adam Mesirow said.

Police say Figueroa, 46, strangled 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez in Chicago on April 23, cut the baby out of Ochoa-Lopez and then called 911 on the same day to say she'd just delivered the baby. Figueroa and the baby were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in nearby Oak Lawn.

Ochoa-Lopez's husband reported her missing on April 24, police say.

Police say they only began to suspect Figueroa was connected to Ochoa-Lopez's disappearance on May 7, after a friend of Ochoa-Lopez told detectives that Figueroa and the teen had been in contact with each other on Facebook.

Police then arranged for a DNA test. After the test showed the baby wasn't Figueroa's, investigators searched Figueroa's house May 14 and found the teen's remains in a trash can in a back yard, police said.

Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, who police say helped in the strangulation, were charged with first-degree murder and battery of a child last week.

The baby has been continuously hospitalized, in intensive care. Ochoa-Lopez's relatives have said they don't understand why the hospital wouldn't have reported suspicions about Clarisa Figueroa, and that physicians should have figured out that she didn't give birth.

"The sheriff's office will consult with DCFS on whether the circumstances of this case required DCFS be notified," the Cook County Sheriff's Office said in a statement obtained by WGN.

"If DCFS says they should have been notified, the sheriff's office will conduct an investigation into what happened."

DCFS has said the hospital was in contact with the agency about the case on May 9, after police were looking into the case, WGN has reported.

Illinois law requires that physicians and other hospital personnel who suspect child neglect or abuse report their suspicions.

In addition to the mother and daughter, Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, 40, was charged with concealing the death of a person and concealing a homicidal death.

All three are being held without bond.

Frank Avila, a lawyer for the family of Ochoa-Lopez, told reporters Monday that he also wants to know whether the hospital followed protocols.

"If I see somebody coming in with a baby ... why does the mother look like she's in good health that has no blood, normal clothes. That doesn't make logical sense to me," Avila said.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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