Family of murdered pregnant teen holds vigil ahead of meeting with lawmakers

In front of the mural of murdered mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez Monday night, family members gathered to pray after a court hearing they described as “traumatic.”

The Ochoa-Lopez family, including Marlen’s husband, Giovani and her 3-year old son, joined with friends and supporters to say the Prayer of the Rosary. 

The vigil happened after Monday court-hearing, where the family said it was traumatic hearing one of the suspects, Peter Boback, claim he had nothing to do with Marlen’s murder. 

They’re also praying for the passage of what would be a new state law called Marlen’s Law, which would require DNA testing and identification for anyone who shows up at a hospital with a newborn they claim is their own. 

In this case, Advocate Christ Medical Center, citing privacy laws, did not notify authorities when murder suspect Clarissa Figueroa showed up there claiming baby Giovani was hers. 

“We are talking about people who claim that their baby was born at home,” said Julie Contreras, a family spokesperson. “They need to provide appropriate evidence! If not, we are going to have another Baby Giovani somewhere else in the world. We want to prevent that.”

Tuesday afternoon, the family is scheduled to meet with State Representative Karina Villa in Batavia, who has agreed to sponsor Marlen’s Law. 

Baby Giovani is still in intensive care with likely brain damage but is said to now be breathing on his own.