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Family of missing pregnant woman seeking DNA test for abandoned baby

Yiovanni Lopez, 20, posts posters about his missing wife, Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, along Division Street in Humboldt Park. She has been missing since April 23. She was pregnant, and her husband wants a DNA test conducted to see if a baby found abandoned in an alley on Tuesday is theirs. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui was expecting a baby boy when she disappeared late last month, and now her family wants to know if a full-term baby boy found abandoned in a Northwest Side alley Tuesday, two days after her due date, belongs to her.

Ochoa-Uriostegui’s husband, Yiovanni Lopez, 20, said Wednesday he was waiting for permission to submit DNA to see if the baby is theirs.

A judge could order the DNA test be conducted as early as next week, according to Jassen Strokosch, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The case will go before a judge within 48 hours of the infant’s release from Lurie Children’s Hospital, expected later this week, according to a source.

The baby will be cared for by a foster family as authorities sort out his parentage, Strokosch said.

The infant was discovered shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday in an alley in the 1700 block of North Keystone Avenue in the Hermosa neighborhood.

He was found by a woman who, by chance, was driving through the alley because she couldn’t find a parking spot on the street in front of her home, according to police.

The woman was startled by a whimpering sound that at first she thought was a dog or a cat.

Moments later she noticed a baby lying on top of a garbage bin, umbilical cord still attached. He was wrapped in a colorful beach towel, police said.

The woman’s daughter retrieved a tote bag, similar to a reusable grocery bag, and placed the baby inside. The pair then drove the baby to a fire station two blocks away.

Paramedics performed CPR and other life-saving measures, then took the baby, still in critical condition, to Norwegian American Hospital at 4:11 p.m., according to the fire department. The baby’s condition was stabilized there, and he was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital.

It’s unclear how long the baby had been exposed to the elements. The weather conditions at the time: 49 degrees and overcast with wind gusts up to 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The infant began kicking and crying shortly after being revived by paramedics and emergency room doctors, according to fire department spokesman Larry Langford. When paramedics first got to work, the newborn was cold to the touch and had no pulse, he said.

A source on Wednesday confirmed the baby is doing well.

Also on Wednesday, the family of Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, held a news conference to ask for help in locating Ochoa-Uriostegui, who they believe is alive and being held against her will.

She was last seen April 23 leaving her school, Latino Youth High School, and getting into a black Honda Civic, according to her family.

Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, and her husband, Yiovanni Lopez, 20. She has been missing since April 23. She was pregnant, and her husband wants a DNA test conducted to see if a baby found abandoned in an alley on Tuesday is theirs. | Provided
Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, and her husband, Yiovanni Lopez, 20. She has been missing since April 23. She was pregnant, and her husband wants a DNA test conducted to see if a baby found abandoned in an alley on Tuesday is theirs. | Provided

She would have been headed to pick up her three-year-old son from daycare but never arrived, according to her family.

Police said the car was discovered about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 7700 block of South Keeler in the Scottsdale neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

“I’m keeping my hope and asking for help in finding my daughter,” her mother, Raquel Uriostegui, said in Spanish.

She believes the newborn baby could be her grandson, and the key to finding her missing daughter, mostly because the police are taking the case more seriously due to the media attention.

“We’re convinced there’s some wrongdoing here — that this isn’t somebody that just disappeared,” Rev. Walter Coleman, the family’s pastor, said Wednesday. “This is somebody that we believe is being held, and we hope that she’s all right.”

Detectives are in the process of retrieving video from police cameras that are stationed on lampposts at two corners near the spot where the baby was discovered.

Police were not commenting further on the case of the infant or the missing woman, whom they recognize may be his mother.

Relatives said Ochoa-Uriostegui’s three-year-old son is constantly asking where his mom is and has eaten very little food in recent days.

Anyone with information about Ochoa-Uriostegui, who lives near 60rd and Honore Streets in West Englewood, is asked to call the Area South Special Victims Unit at 312-747-8274.

Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, has been missing since April 23. | Provided
Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, 19, has been missing since April 23. | Provided
Provided