Glimmer of Hope as Loved Ones Say Goodbye to Marlen Ochoa

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As family and friends begin to say their goodbyes to 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa, a glimmer of hope brought a bit of light to an otherwise said day. 

Doctors told family members Thursday that baby Yovanny, who remains hospitalized in the NICU, has shown more brain activity in recent days, leading the family to embrace even the faintest hope that a miracle could take place. 

The child remains on life support, and a family spokesperson told NBC 5 that while Yovanny can’t eat or breathe on his own, his brain has shown some activity, and the family believes that the news shows that their love and support is having a positive impact on his prognosis. 

That news came as mourners gathered to pay their respects to Marlen Ochoa at a suburban funeral home Thursday. The 19-year-old was killed last month, strangled to death before her baby was cut from her womb, according to prosecutors. 

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Ochoa Family Speaks Out As Funeral Nears

Members of Ochoa’s extended family are in the United States to say goodbye on Thursday, and the sight of so many loved ones is a bittersweet one for those who loved Ochoa. 

“Finally they are all together, and they can mourn her not being here,” Stickney resident Mario Medina said. “I’m so proud of them.” 

Ochoa’s visitation will continue Friday at Mount Auburn Funeral Home in south suburban Stickney. Her funeral is set for Saturday morning, according to the funeral home, followed by a burial at the adjoining memorial park.

“Marlen is everyone’s daughter today,” family spokeswoman Cecilia Garcia said at a vigil for Ochoa Wednesday night. “We have to make sure that this never ever happens to anybody else again.”

Last week, Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter Desiree Figueroa were charged with the teen’s murder, and Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend Piotr Bobak was charged with concealing the homicide.

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