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Chicago Infant Torn From His Mother’s Womb Before Her Murder Just Made Tremendous Progress In His Health And Doctors Are Hopeful

The infant boy of a teen mom who was cut from his mother’s womb just moments after she was murdered last month in Illinois has opened his eyes, CNN reports.

The baby, who remains in a Chicago-area hospital where he is listed in “grave condition,” was photographed with his father, Yovany Lopez, on Sunday. In the image, the baby boy, attached to several tubes, is sleeping in the arms of his father, who is seen smiling after weeks of tragedy and uncertainty.

“We were just praying and praying and he opened his eyes, and his dad said, ‘Oh my God, he opened his eyes!'” Cecilia Garcia, a student pastor who is helping the family during the horrific moment, told the news outlet. “We’ve been blessed, although this is a really bad tragedy, they’re such a loving and humble family and it’s just so wrong what happened to them.”

The infant’s mother, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, disappeared on April 23, at nine months pregnant. She was lured to a Chicago woman’s home who had offered her free baby clothes on Facebook. More than three weeks later, her dead body was 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,” Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman, said soon after her body was found.

The death was ruled a homicide by strangulation.

Mother-and-daughter Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and Desiree Figueroa, 24, were both arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under 13 in the attack on Ochoa-Lopez.

Officials believe the suspects wanted to “raise the child as their own” after Clarisa Figueroa faked being pregnant.

On April 23, the last day Ochoa-Lopez was seen, the mother and daughter called 911 alleging that she had a home birth and the infant was struggling to breathe.

“I felt like I was watching a scary movie when I heard about this. It was really bad,” Garcia said.

Due to the infant’s lack of oxygen when he was removed from his mother’s womb, the child has been forced to stay on life support. Relatives and community members have come together, many of them praying for the baby’s survival. They feel hopeful knowing that the baby has recently opened his eyes for the first time.

“She’s (Marlen) evoked the whole nation of people, pouring their love out for this family. He’s (Yovany Lopez) a single dad now, and we’re praying this baby makes it.”

Read: Missing Teen Mother’s Body Found In Trash Weeks After Her Baby Was ‘Cut From Her Belly’ In Womb Abduction Plot

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