A father whose wife and infant son died in a baby-snatching scheme has been billed $300,000 by an Illinois hospital for the boy’s care after he was cut from the womb, WBBM reported.
“What kind of monstrous people are these?” asked Frank Avila, the family’s attorney, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Hospital officials said in a statement the bills were “inadvertently sent” and said they “regret the error,” WMAQ reported.
Three people have been charged in the deaths of Marlen Ochoa Lopez, 19, and her infant son, Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, who died in June after being cut from his slain mother’s womb in April, WBBM reported.
Yovanny Lopez, the baby’s father, has since received a stack of medical bills from Advocate Christ Medical Center, where his child spent two months on life support, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Some of the bills, which total $300,000, name the child as “Figueroa baby,” WBBM reported. Clarisa Figueroa, accused of masterminding the scheme to steal Ochoa Lopez’s baby, initially presented him to the hospital as her own child, police say.
Some of the bills are dated after the arrests of Figueroa and her accused accomplices, according to the station.
Others warn that the Oak Lawn, Illinois, hospital may be forced to send unpaid bills to collection agencies, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“I would hope the hospital would not be so cruel,” Yovanny Lopez said, according to the publication.
Avila called the bills “atrocious” and said “it needs to stop,” WBBM reported.
“Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the Ochoa-Lopez family during this difficult time,” hospital officials said in a statement, WMAQ reported.
“We have had discussions with the family regarding a bill that was inadvertently sent and we regret this error,” the statement continues, according to the station. “We take our obligation to patient privacy seriously, and therefore are unable to comment further regarding care, services or billing.”
On April 23, Ochoa Lopez disappeared. Police say she went to Clarisa Figueroa’s home in response to an offer for free baby clothes that Figueroa had posted to Facebook, WMAQ reported.
It was there that Figueroa and her daughter Desiree, 24, cut Ochoa Lopez’s baby from her womb after strangling her with a cord, the TV station reported. Officials say the women dumped Ochoa Lopez’s body into the garbage can in their yard then called 911.
Clarisa Figueroa told dispatchers that she’d just given birth and that the baby was not breathing, People reported. The baby was taken to the hospital and received treatment while Clarisa Figueroa — who showed no physical signs of having given birth — and her family watched over the child, CNN reported.
Prosecutors say Clarisa Figueroa’s deception began back in October when she initially told family members she was pregnant, despite having had her fallopian tubes tied, Fox News reported.
She occasionally posted photos of ultrasounds and baby nurseries to Facebook to maintain her story and ultimately began looking for a child to pass off as her own, prosecutors allege, according to Fox News.
Officials say they believe Figueroa planned to raise the child as her own following her son’s death the year before, CNN reported.
Yovanny died on June 14 due to lack of oxygen after being removed from his mother’s body, People reported.
Three people have been charged in the case — Clarisa Figueroa and Desiree Figueroa with first-degree murder, and Piotr Bobak, Clarisa’s boyfriend, with concealing a homicide — all three pleading not guilty, WMAQ reported.