Health officials investigate Illinois hospital treating baby cut from woman's womb

Illinois health officials are investigating Advocate Christ Medical Center's handling of an infant who was brought to the hospital after allegedly being cut out of his mother's womb, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed its investigation of the Oak Lawn, Ill.-based hospital May 21. The investigation is connected to the April 23 murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, who was nine months pregnant at the time of her death. Prosecutors say Ms. Ochoa-Lopez was lured into the home of two women — 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree — who allegedly strangled her and cut the infant out of her womb.

Clarisa Figueroa called 911 shortly after the murder and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she claimed the baby was hers, prosecutors said. She exhibited no signs of having given birth, and several weeks later a DNA test revealed the baby was Ms. Ochoa-Lopez's, according to prosecutors.

The hospital did not notify the Department of Children and Family Services about the newborn until May 9, an agency spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff's Office is calling on state health officials to investigate whether the hospital violated the Abuse and Neglected Children Reporting Act by not immediately notifying authorities of the situation.

The infant is on life support in Advocate Christ Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit, according to CBS 2 Chicago. Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa are being held at Cook County Jail on first-degree murder charges.

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