Persons of interest questioned in connection with missing pregnant woman from Chicago
CHICAGO (FOX 32/AP) - A body found behind a home on Chicago's Southwest Side has been identified as that of a 19-year-old pregnant woman who disappeared last month.
The Cook County medical examiner's office says the body of Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui was discovered after several people were taken into custody at the home. No charges against those in custody have been announced.
The medical examiner announced Wednesday Ochoa-Uriostegui died of ligature strangulation, and her death is considered a homicide.
The Chicago Sun-Times also reports that the unborn child was cut out of the missing woman's body.
"We believe that she was murdered and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder," said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He adds the baby was hospitalized and is in "grave" condition.
Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, had been missing since April 23rd and was nine months pregnant. She was last seen in the 2000 block of South California Avenue, according to a high-risk missing person alert from Chicago police.
A family member told FOX 32 that before Ochoa-Uriostegui was reported missing, she went to the 4100 block of West 77th Place to swap baby strollers with a woman she met in a Facebook group for pregnant mothers who claimed that she was pregnant as well.
Ochoa-Uriostegui never showed up to pick up her 3-year-old son from daycare on April 23rd. Soon after, she was reported missing.
The same day Ochoa-Uriostegui was reported missing, a baby was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center with brain injuries from the 4100 block of West 77th Place, according to the Ochoa-Uriostegui family.
The family of Ochoa-Uriostegui says that DNA tests concluded the baby belongs to Marlen.
The Ochoa-Uriostegui family claims the woman who Marlen was interacting with on Facebook set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses for the baby who was taken to the hospital. The GoFundMe page has since been removed from the website.
Guglielmi said investigators are interviewing the people taken from the home about the slaying of Ochoa-Uriostegui.
"We believe all of them played some role in this unspeakable act of violence," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.