Police Questioning Four in Pregnant Chicago Woman’s Disappearance

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CHICAGO — The family of a missing 19-year-old woman from the Pilsen neighborhood said a baby that was hospitalized in critical condition belongs to the 19-year-old.

Police on Tuesday were questioning four people in the disappearance of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, who was nine months pregnant.

The people were taken into custody from a home on West 77th Place, where remains were recently recovered. The Cook County Medical Examiner said an autopsy was pending. Relatives of Ochoa-Uriostegui are awaiting positive identification, but fear it may be her.

Ochoa-Uriostegui went missing on April 23. After leaving Latino Youth High School in Pilsen, her family said she went to the home on West 77th Place to swap items arranged through a Facebook group called “Help a Sister Out.”  The woman claimed to have a stroller and other baby items.

“She was giving clothes away, supposedly under the pretenses that her daughters had been given clothes and they had all these extra boy clothes. That’s the false pretenses that we believe led her to that house,” said Cecelia Garcia, a spokeswoman for Ochoa-Uriostegui’s family.

Hours later that same day, neighbors said a 46-year-old woman came running out of the home claiming that she had just given birth to a baby boy and he wasn’t breathing.

The baby was transported to Christ Hospital, Chicago fire officials confirm. He remains hospitalized in intensive care.

Ochoa-Uriostegui’s family said DNA testing by police has confirmed the baby is hers. They have named him Yadiel, and they are praying for a miracle since he is described as brain dead and on life support. Police have not confirmed to WGN that the baby belongs to Ochoa-Uriostegui.

Neighbors told WGN there was considerable activity overnight at the home on West 77th Place with detectives removing massive amounts of evidence, and there was an apparent focus on the backyard and possibly the basement.

Neighbors said the people being questioned by police include the 46-year-old woman, her boyfriend, her daughter and a man in his 20s. They were also surprised by an alleged birth since no one knew of a pregnancy.

The Facebook group Ochoa-Uriostegui used is said to be shutdown. A member said she had talked with others about taking precautions when making exchanges.

“Don’t go in strangers’ houses. Always bring somebody with you,” said Facebook group member Samantha Holubik. “I think it’s making people more aware, because you would never think that.”

The family expects to hear from police or the medical examiner soon about the identification of the body recovered at the home of West 77th Place. 

Garcia said they have faith and are hopeful, but they are preparing for the worst.


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