State Investigates Hospital That Treated Murdered Mom's Baby

May 21, 2019 - 5:48 pm

CHICAGO (AP) -- The state agency that licenses and inspects health care facilities in Illinois has started an investigation of the hospital where doctors treated a baby brought in by a woman claiming to be his mother who later was charged with killing the parent and cutting the child from her womb.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold would not provide any details on Tuesday about the investigation of Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, saying she was prohibited from doing so while it is ongoing.

Arnold's comments mark the first time a state agency has confirmed that it is investigating the hospital where doctors treated the baby that Clarisa Figueroa brought in on April 23 because it was not breathing. The investigation comes after Chicago Police and the state's Department of Children and Family Services said that staff at the hospital did not alert them for several days after determining that Figueroa was not actually the baby's mother.

Authorities say Marlen Ochoa, a 19-year-old pregnant woman, was lured to a Southwest Side home and strangled, and the baby she was carrying was cut from her body.

Meanwhile, the Cook County Sheriff's Department has asked DCFS to determine if the hospital's failure to immediately alert authorities was a violation of the state's Abuse and Neglected and Reporting Act.

The sheriff's department says if DCFS determines there was a violation that it would conduct its own investigation. The hospital has declined to say when or if it notified law enforcement.

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