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Chicago woman found murdered; baby found alive

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By Doha Madani

A 19-year-old Chicago woman who was pregnant when she went missing in late April has been found murdered, authorities said. The announcement came the same day it was confirmed that her baby, who was presumed to have been delivered after her disappearance, was found alive.

The newborn was found when paramedics responded to a call of a baby in distress on April 23, the same day Marlen Ochoa-Lopez went missing after arranging to pick up baby clothes from someone she met in a Facebook group, a Chicago fire spokesman said, according to NBC Chicago.

Cecilia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the family, told reporters Wednesday that DNA was used to confirm that the child was Ochoa-Lopez’s.

“It’s a blessing that we found Yadiel, the baby, that’s the name of the baby that Marlen had chosen,” she said.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed to NBC News that a body found near where the baby was found by paramedics had been positively identified as that of Ochoa-Lopez. The medical examiner ruled that the death was a homicide caused by strangulation.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez in an undated photo.

Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant when she went missing and seemingly went into labor after she was last seen leaving the Latino Youth High School, where she had been taking classes.

Garcia said Ochoa-Lopez had arranged to pick up baby clothes on the day she disappeared, plans she had made through a Facebook group called “Help A Sista Out.”

Ochoa was supposed to pick up her 3-year-old son from day care later that afternoon, but she never showed up, her family said, according to NBC Chicago.

Chicago police told NBC News in a statement on Wednesday that they were interviewing people connected to the missing persons case but could not comment further.

Melanie Kucera contributed.

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