Family of slain pregnant teen says baby cut from her womb has breathed on his own for first time

The baby cut from his slain mother's womb in April took an unassisted breath for the first time, according to family members.

Relatives of 6-week-old Yovani Yadiel Lopez said during a press conference last week that the infant, who was named after his father, has breathed without the help of a machine, marking a milestone in his recovery process.

However, the newborn, who was initially given a grim prognosis due to severe brain damage, and his family still have a daunting road ahead of them, according to Pastor Emma Lozanoa, a spokesman for the family.

"The baby is starting to be weaned off the respirator, but there’s a long way to go and we’re all praying for a miracle," Lozanoa told PEOPLE

"The baby looks so beautiful and so perfect, but we know otherwise," she added. "The lack of oxygen for so long did some major damage to the brain, and we’re all praying for a miracle right now."

Baby Yovani's mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was brutally murdered on April 23 after she was lured to a home on Chicago's Southwest Side under the pretense of free clothing for her soon-to-be-born child and then strangled with a cable.

Photos from the case: 

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Teen mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez killed, infant cut from womb
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Teen mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez killed, infant cut from womb
This booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department, Thursday, May 16, 2019, shows Clarisa Figueroa, who is charged in the death of 19-year-old expectant mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. First-degree murder charges have been filed against Figueroa and her daughter Desiree Figueroa in connection with the death of Ochoa-Lopez, whose body was discovered earlier in the week, strangled before her baby was cut from her womb. (Chicago Police Department via AP)
This booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department, Thursday, May 16, 2019, shows Desiree Figueroa, who is charged in the death of 19-year-old expectant mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. First-degree murder charges have been filed against Figueroa and her mother, Clarisa Figueroa, in connection with the death of Ochoa-Lopez, whose body was discovered earlier in the week, strangled before her baby was cut from her womb. (Chicago Police Department via AP)
This booking photo provided Thursday, May 16, 2019, by the Chicago Police Department shows Piotr Bobak, charged with concealment of a homicide. Bobak's girlfriend, Clarisa Figueroa, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa are charged in the death of 19-year-old expectant mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, whose body was discovered earlier in the week, strangled before her baby was cut from her womb. (Chicago Police Department via AP)
The backyard of the home in the 4100 block of West 77th Place where the body of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was found. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner's office to identify his daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner's office to identify his daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's father, Arnulfo Ochoa, talks to reporters outside the Cook County medical examiner's office after identifying his daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's mother, Raquel Uriostegui, talks to reporters outside the Cook County medical examiner's office after identifying her daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's mother, Raquel Uriostegui, talks to reporters outside the Cook County medical examiner's office after identifying her daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's husband, Yiovanni Lopez, talks to reporters outside the Cook County medical examiner's office after identifying his wife's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Surrounded by family members and supporters, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's husband, Yiovanni Lopez, talks to reporters outside the Cook County medical examiner's office after identifying his wife's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner's office to identify his daughter's body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
A memorial of flowers, balloons, a cross and photo of victim Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, are displayed on the lawn, Friday, May 17, 2019 in Chicago, outside the home where Ochoa-Lopez was murdered last month. Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy says a pregnant Ochoa-Lopez, who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb, was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
A memorial of flowers, balloons, a cross and photo of victim Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, are displayed on the lawn, Friday, May 17, 2019 in Chicago, outside the home where Ochoa-Lopez was murdered last month. Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy says a pregnant Ochoa-Lopez, who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb, was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
A memorial of flowers, balloons, a cross and photo of victim Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, are displayed on the lawn, Friday, May 17, 2019 in Chicago, outside the home where Ochoa-Lopez was murdered last month. Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy says a pregnant Ochoa-Lopez, who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb, was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
Pictured: 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez 
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Clarisa Figueroa, 46, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of the expectant mother after her body was discovered in a trash can behind the suspect's Scottsdale home on May 14. 

Her daughter, 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, was also charged with first-degree murder while the 46-year-old's boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr "Pete" Bobak, was charged with concealment of a homicide.

Investigators believe Figueroa planned to raise the child on her own following her adult son's 2018 death.

Christ Medical Center, where Figueroa brought the pregnant teen's baby after allegedly cutting him from Ochoa-Lopez' womb, recently came under fire after it was revealed the hospital did not report the suspicious incident until two weeks later.

"We don't know what was happening at the hospital," Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jassen Strokosch said, adding he couldn't speculate as to why the agency wasn't contacted sooner.

Ochoa-Lopez's bereaved husband, Yovani Lopez, said he couldn't fathom why anyone would hurt his pregnant wife, with whom he already shared a son, 3-year-old Joshua. 

"She didn't do anything to them, she was a good person," he said. "Knowing she had a family, a 3-year-old son. I can't believe it."

A GoFundMe started to support the widower and his two children has raised $57,000 out of its $75,000 goal.

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