Baby Cut from Slain Mother’s Womb Opens His Eyes for the First Time as His Father Holds Him

Yovany Lopez and baby Yadiel
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Holding his child in his arms, the Chicago father whose pregnant wife was murdered before the infant was cut from her womb was able for the first time to look into his baby boy’s eyes on Sunday night.

“That’s his baby and they finally got to meet each other,” says Emma Lozano, a spokesman for the families of Yovany Lopez and Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, whose body was discovered May 15, three weeks after she’d gone missing just ahead of her due date.

Authorities charged mother and daughter Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and Desiree Figueroa, 24, both with first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13 in the attack on Ochoa-Lopez, who also went by the last name Ochoa-Uriostegui.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speculated the suspects wanted to “raise the child as their own” after Clarisa Figueroa allegedly faked a pregnancy, then called 911 on April 23 — the day the victim was last seen — to claim she’d just given birth to a boy who was struggling to breathe.

Due to that lack of oxygen, the child has continued to struggle and remains on life support in grave condition at a hospital, according to Lozano, a pastor with Lincoln United Methodist Church in Chicago.

“There has been another family that has basically been pretending that they were his parents and grandparents,” she says. With the revelation of the murder and the charges against the accused, Ochoa-Lopez’s husband rushed in to oversee his child’s care belatedly while also dealing with the tragedy of his wife’s killing.

“The baby does have some brain activity, and he has recently — I think it was not last night but the night before, when his dad and his little brother was with him — he started to open his eyes,” says Lozano.

“Right now he can’t breathe on his own and can’t swallow, and those functions are extremely important and there hasn’t been any change since he came in,” Lozano tells PEOPLE.

“Those conversations of whether he can be taken off of life support will be had with [husband] Yovany and the family in the future, but right now they’re just being introduced to their baby,” she says.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Jeff Truesdell