The terminally ill Illinois mother convicted in 2016 of killing her severely disabled daughter because she feared what would happen to the 28-year-old after her death committed suicide on Saturday, PEOPLE confirms.
Bonnie Liltz, 57, of Schaumberg, was found dead in her home Saturday evening after family members called 911, Sgt. Christy Lindhurst of the Schaumberg Police Department tells PEOPLE. Her death is “believed to be a suicide,” says Lindhurst, adding that there is no evidence of foul play.
Authorities are awaiting an autopsy and toxicology test results, she says.
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In 2016, Liltz was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the 2015 death of her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy. She was sentenced to four years in prison.
Liltz, who suffered from terminal cancer and other health issues, told authorities that because her health was deteriorating rapidly, she feared she would soon die. In 2015, she gave herself and her daughter Courtney a lethal dose of drugs because she was afraid no one would be able to care for her daughter. Courtney died from the overdose but Liltz survived.
Even though prosecutors had recommended probation, in 2016, Cook County Judge Joel Greenblatt sentenced her to prison, saying, “The choice you made that morning was not an act of love. It was a crime.”
Later in 2016, a judge set her free on bond during her appeal after she had served about three months of the sentence, WGN9 reported.
In October, the Illinois Supreme Court denied her appeal. She was scheduled to return to prison on Monday to complete her four-year sentence.
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Liltz took her own life because she believed she would die in prison without the proper medical care she needed, her attorney, Glasgow, tells PEOPLE. “She did leave a note to me and to the other attorneys who had worked with her saying she knew she was going to die if she went back to prison and couldn’t bear to die there,” he says.
Plagued by incontinence issues because of a perforated bladder and bowel from previous radiation treatments for ovarian cancer that destroyed her intestines, Liltz’s health deteriorated rapidly in prison, says Glasgow.
On Saturday, Liltz told her mother she was going to a movie and lunch with a friend. Instead, she wrote out suicide notes to family and friends and swallowed an overdose of pills, WLS-TV reports.