Baby ‘forcibly removed’ from slain mother’s womb opens eyes in hospital: reports
WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may disturb some readers.
The baby fighting for his life after being gruesomely cut from his mother’s womb in an attack in Chicago last month has opened his eyes, according to U.S. media reports.
A new photo has emerged, showing the baby in his father’s arms, attached to a number of tubes in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Advocate Christ Medical Centre in Oak Lawn, IL.
Images posted to Facebook on Sunday by Cecilia Garcia, a spokesperson for the grieving family, refer to “Baby Yadiel.”
Julie Contreras, another spokesperson for the family, told ABC News the baby opened his eyes during the visit from his father, Yovany Lopez, and his three-year-old brother.
“He opened his eyes when his daddy held him and his daddy was cooing him,” Contreras told CNN. “He was telling him, ‘My precious, beautiful, handsome little boy. My handsome little prince. I love you. Your dad loves you.”
WATCH: Police in Chicago say three charged in death of woman, baby cut from her womb
Contreras told ABC News the infant, named Yovany Yadeil Lopez, who police initially said was in grave condition and was not expected to survive, “seems to be a fighter.”
While doctors are not ready to say if the baby will survive, Contreras told ABC News there has been “no talk of disconnecting him from life support.”
The infant’s mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was killed last month after she was lured to a woman’s home in Chicago, responding to a Facebook offer for free baby clothing.
Police say Ochoa-Lopez was strangled before her unborn baby was “forcibly removed” from her womb.
According to police, Ochoa-Lopez’s body was later found in a garbage can in the backyard of the home.
“We believe that she was murdered, and we believe that the baby was forcibly removed following that murder,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said at a news conference, calling the incident an “unspeakable act of violence.”
Three people have now been charged in connection with Ochoa-Lopez’s death.
Garcia told CNN she felt like she was “watching a scary movie” when she heard about Ochoa-Lopez’s death.
“I felt like I was watching a scary movie when I heard about this,” Garcia said. “It was really bad.”
However, amid the tragedy, Garcia says now the entire nation has rallied behind the Ochoa-Lopez’s family.
“She’s [Marlen] evoked the whole nation of people, pouring their love out for this family,” Garcia told CNN. “He’s [Yovany Lopez] a single dad now, and we’re praying this baby makes it.”
— With files from The Associated Press
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