CHICAGO – A local Sheriff's office wants to know if a suburban Chicago hospital violated state law by not immediately reporting that a woman who claimed to be the mother of a newborn had not been born. The woman was later accused of stifling the baby's mother and cutting the newborn from her fashion.
On Monday, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said it would ask the state's Child Employment Agency to determine if a suburban Chicago hospital was operating properly.
Cara Smith, chief politician at the sheriff's office, said whether the State Department of Family Services determines that lawyer Christ Medical Center violated the Child Abuse and Neglect Law would be an investigation.
Smith's comments came just a few days after Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree Figueroa, were accused of first-degree murder to avenge the 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and cut her unborn baby out of her last month before Clarisa Figueroa called 911 to report that the baby she had just born did not breathe.
The Chicago Police Department and state agency said at the weekend that the hospital never warned them after the end of April had determined that the bloody Clarisa Figueroa was not the mother. Police said they did not learn until May 7 in connection with Figueroa and Ochoa-Lopez when one of the teenage friends told detectives about communication between the two on Facebook.
The hospital issued a statement on Monday and said it cooperated with local authorities but did not want any comments.
Prosecutors claim that when Figueroa was brought with the child to the hospital, she had blood on her upper body and face, which a hospital was cleaned off, and that the 46-year-old Figueroa was examined in the hospital and showed no physical signs of birth.
The question to the state agency, Smith said, is whether the hospital would have been legally obliged to warn the police or the agency of the woman claiming to be the mother of a grossly ill child.
"We will ask DCFS to advise on this indescribable tragic set of facts was reportable," she said in a statement.
It was first reported on the weekend that the hospital did not immediately report what had happened on April 23, the day Figueroa and the child came to the hospital.
The child is hospitalized in the grave state of life support and is not expected to survive.
This version of the story corrects that Cara Smith is chief of the sheriff's office, not the child welfare agency.