'Forever in our hearts': Slain pregnant teen farewelled after baby cut from womb

Hundreds of mourners have gathered for the funeral of a Chicago woman who authorities say was strangled and her baby cut from her womb.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was remembered as a tireless, loving mother at her funeral on Saturday (local time) in suburban Chicago.

Christian music played in the background in Spanish at Stickney’s Mount Auburn Funeral Home as mourners, including husband Yovani Lopz, poured in, Chicago Tribune reported.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was nine months' pregnant when she was murdered and had her baby cut from her womb. Source: Facebook/ Cecilia Garcia

A photo of Ms Ochoa-Lopez on her wedding day was placed next to the casket.

Family friend Julie Contreras, from the League of Young Latin American Citizens, said Ms Ochoa-Lopez went down fighting and her baby boy was a miracle.

Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s baby was hospitalised in grave condition.

“Today is a sad day — not only for [Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s] family, but for all of Chicago,” Ms Contreras said.

The funeral procession filled with friends and family of Ms Ochoa-Lopez at Mount Auburn Funeral Home in Stickney, Illinois on Saturday. Source: AAP
The slain mother's casket is seen inside the funeral home with a photo of her on her wedding day placed next to it. Source: ABC 7

Ms Lopez-Ochoa’s uncle Jesus Maldonado said the entire ordeal had been “very hard”.

“It feels like it will never end,” Mr Maldonado said.

Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s father Arnulfo Ochoa told Chicago Sun-Times after the service the family “didn’t expect so many people to come”.

“Today we laid her to rest, but did not say goodbye,” he told the Sun-Times.

“She will live forever in our hearts, and we will meet her again in heaven.”

Marlen’s Law

There are now calls for a bill to be introduced known as “Marlen’s Law”, Ms Contreras said at the service, according to ABC News.

The law would require women who give birth at home to provide DNA evidence the baby was theirs on presenting at hospital.

A mural for Ms Ochoa-Lopez in the Pilsen neighbourhood of Chicago. Source: AAP
Yovani Lopez with his wife. Source: Al Punto

"We will not allow this to happen [to another family]," Ms Contreras said.

Prosecutors said Clarisa Figueroa claimed she had given birth to the baby when she took him to a hospital on April 23.

Figueroa and her adult daughter have been charged with murder over Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s death.

With The Associated Press

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