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‘You’re either lying or you’re crazy’: Some doubted accused woman’s pregnancy claims

Clarisa Figueroa — charged with murdering a pregnant woman and cutting the woman’s baby out of her womb — drank and smoked while telling people she was expecting her own baby, neighbors said.

Clarisa Figueroa | Facebook photo
Clarisa Figueroa
Facebook photo

Neighbors and online acquaintances recalled odd behavior in recent months from the woman accused of luring Marlen Ochoa-Lopez to her home, where Ochoa-Lopez was allegedly strangled and her infant son cut from her womb.

Clarisa Figueroa had been living in the basement of her mother’s Scottsdale neighborhood home, neighbors said, where authorities say they found Ochoa-Lopez’s body in a garbage can early Wednesday.

Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree Figueroa were charged with murder Thursday afternoon.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez | Family photo
Marlen Ochoa-Lopez
Family Photo

One woman who lives in the 4100 block of West 77th Place, who asked not to be named, recalled Figueroa talking about how it was a “miracle” that she was pregnant — but an adult daughter of Figueroa told her that Figueroa wasn’t expecting and was “a liar.”

The day Ochoa-Lopez went missing, the neighbor saw Figueroa on the porch of the home cradling the baby in a towel or sheet before getting into an ambulance, claiming she just “stood up and the baby came out.”

There was blood on Figueroa’s hand and T-shirt, but not on her shorts, the neighbor said.

Figueroa sent text messages to the neighbor for a few days after the baby was born, but suddenly stopped returning messages, she said.

Figueroa’s behavior during her ostensible pregnancy raised eyebrows for another neighbor who said the 46-year-old continued to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

Figueroa also drew confusion from fellow members of the “Help a Sister Out” Facebook group where she allegedly first contacted Ochoa-Lopez with promises of a stroller and free baby clothes for her son due in May.

Adriana Floyd, a member of the group that’s geared toward young mothers, said members were surprised to see Figueroa begin posting in February about preparing her home for a baby on the way — despite posts several months earlier indicating she’d had her “tubes tied” to prevent future pregnancies.

Screenshot of Clarisa Figueroa’s Facebook post. | Provided
Screenshot of Clarisa Figueroa’s Facebook post.

Asked if she’d had the procedure reversed, Figueroa would give vague answers about doctors “forgetting to tie them back” after an unrelated surgery, according to Floyd.

“It never really made sense to us. We thought, ‘You’re either lying or you’re crazy,’ “ Floyd said. “It seemed like she wanted attention.”

On March 5, Figueroa posted in the group asking “Who is due in May,” the same day Ochoa-Lopez posted a request for any clothes and supplies ahead of her May 10 due date.

Screenshot of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s interactions with Clarisa Figueroa on Facebook. | Provided
Screenshot of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s interactions with Clarisa Figueroa on Facebook.

That apparently prompted an exchange between the women, and it was how Figueroa eventually lured the 19-year-old mother to the home on 77th Place on April 23, according to Ochoa-Lopez’s family.

Screenshot of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s interactions with Clarisa Figueroa on Facebook. | Provided
Screenshot of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s interactions with Clarisa Figueroa on Facebook.

The introduction to Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend Piotr “Pete” Bobak’s page reads: “My Baby hopefully twins Love Clarissa,” and she is tagged in several of his pictures taken around the city.

Starting last fall, Bobak — who police say helped conceal Ochoa-Lopez’s body — started sharing ultrasound images on Facebook indicating it was “our new” baby.

The shared ultrasound images are labeled under Christ Medical Center with Figueroa’s name.

Screenshot of Pete Bobak’s Facebook activity
Screenshot of Pete Bobak’s Facebook activity

Ochoa-Lopez’s family says Figueroa started a fundraiser in recent weeks after claiming the younger woman’s child as her own. That GoFundMe campaign, which has since been removed by the website, had sought $9,000 for funeral arrangements, claiming the boy was sick and about to die.

As recently as May 8, Bobak had shared the GoFundMe campaign, writing: “My son is a fighter made it this far, but not much time left, life support, brain dead, very little function in the brain.”

Screenshot of Pete Bobak’s Facebook activity
Screenshot of Pete Bobak’s Facebook activity

Figueroa apparently has been back in her parents’ home for at least three years. In 2016, on a separate Facebook profile she used, Figueroa wrote that she had moved there because she couldn’t “take it to be alone anymore” with her then-husband apparently hospitalized. He wasn’t identified in the posts.

Figueroa also references a previous child that died in Facebook posts. In July 2017, Figueroa wrote that her adult son passed away. Xavier Figueroa was 26 when he died, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. In response to a friend offering condolences, Figueroa pointed out that she had started a GoFundMe campaign to cover expenses.

Cook County Circuit records hardly offer hints of Figueroa later being accused of such a grisly crime.

In August 1998, she was hit with a misdemeanor battery charge that later was dropped when the complaining witness didn’t show up in court.

Besides a misdemeanor charge of cannabis possession that was dropped in August 2008, she has no other apparent criminal history in Cook County.

Records also show Figueroa has been sued by landlords a handful of times since 2007 for failing to pay rent.

That’s not the case for Bobak, 40, who has been arrested several times in the last 20 years on charges including battery, public indecency, theft and criminal damage to property, court records show.

Piotr Bobak | Illinois Dept. of Corrections
Piotr Bobak
Illinois Dept. of Corrections

His most serious charge came in 2016. According to Illinois prison records, he was convicted of aggravated battery of a police officer in downstate Morgan County, just west of Springfield.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, but was paroled from the Danville Correctional Center in April 2018. His parole was not set to expire until next year.

Contributing: Sam Charles