Family of Baby Cut from Mother's Womb Is Billed Over $300,000 By Hospital: 'It's Atrocious'
These new details are extremely disturbing.
The family of an infant who died after he was cut from his murdered mother’s womb has been billed more than $300,000 for his care, the attorney for the baby’s father tells PEOPLE.
In addition, hospital bills identify the child as “Figueroa, boy” — the same last name as alleged murderer Clarisa Figueroa, who pretended she gave birth to the baby and cared for him in the hospital as if he were her child.
“It’s atrocious, it’s horrible,” attorney Frank Avila tells PEOPLE. “It’s hard for me to understand the lack of humanity.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, the hospital, Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, says it has “had discussions with the family regarding inadvertent billing and we regret this error.”
Authorities say the baby’s nine-months-pregnant mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was killed on April 23 after Clarisa Figueroa, 46, lured the expectant mom to her home by promising to give her free baby items. Prosecutors allege Clarisa Figueroa strangled her with a coaxial cable and cut the infant from her womb.
After that, Clarisa Figueroa allegedly called 911 to claim she had just given birth and the newborn was not breathing.
Paramedics rushed Figueroa and the newborn to the hospital, where Figueroa and her family continued to monitor the child.
Avila first made the comments about the hospital bill Thursday to The Chicago Sun Times.
The comments followed a bail hearing where prosecutors announced new first-degree murder charges against Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, 24, in the death of the baby, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, reports The Sun Times.
Prosecutors say Yovanny died on June 14 from injuries he sustained due to a lack of oxygen when he was cut from his mother’s body. The women were denied bail, according to The Sun Times.
Authorities had previously charged the mother and daughter with first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13 in the attack on Ochoa-Lopez. Both have pleaded not guilty.
A third person, Desiree’s boyfriend Piotr Bobak, 40, is also charged with one felony count of concealment of a homicide.
Avila, who represents the late baby’s father, Yovany Lopez, says that even after the Figueroas were charged with murder and the boy died, the hospital sent bills that called the baby “Figueroa, boy.”
He says the hospital has promised to write off the bills, but never put anything in writing, and that Lopez is still receiving demands for payment.
In a bill dated June 3 which Avila provided to PEOPLE, the hospital informs the family that their “balance is past due. Please pay the entire amount … to avoid being referred to an external collection agency.”
“My client is overwhelmed by all this,” says Avila, noting the 20-year-old Lopez is now a single dad for the couple’s three-year-old. “It’s not right, it’s revictimizing him.”
In the statement obtained by PEOPLE, the hospital says it regrets “inadvertent billing.”
“Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the Ochoa-Lopez family during this difficult time. We have had discussions with the family regarding inadvertent billing and we regret this error. We take our obligation to patient privacy seriously, and therefore are unable to comment further regarding care, services or billing.”
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