Bonnie Liltz, an Illinois woman who killed her disabled daughter with a fatal dose of medication in 2015 was found dead of an apparent suicide on November 25, 2017, according to authorities.
Liltz, 57, who had terminal cancer and other health problems, was due to report to prison on November 27. She had been sentenced to four years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of her daughter Courtney, 28, who had cerebral palsy.
Liltz said she gave Courtney a lethal dose of drugs because she feared what would happen to her daughter after her death.
Bonnie Liltz’s Health Difficulties Took Their Toll
Bonnie Liltz was unable to have children of her own, so she adopted Courtney when the girl was four years old. Courtney had severe cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair for most of her life, none of which seemed to matter to Liltz. She appeared to love the child and built her whole world around her.
Things were manageable until Liltz’s health began deteriorating. Liltz was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which became a reoccurring problem along with severe intestinal issues.
When Liltz was hospitalized after major surgery in 2012, Courtney was sent to a private institution. When she was reunited with her daughter, Liltz was shocked at the state that Courtney was in.
Susan Liltz, BonnieLLiltz’s sister, testified, “She was filthy, her clothes were filthy, she had diaper rash. It broke Bonnie’s heart to see Courtney like that.”
Bonnie Liltz was haunted by the question that many parents of disabled children have: what happens to them when I’m gone? Fearing that she would soon die, Liltz gave both herself and Courtney a lethal dose of drugs. Liltz was revived; Courtney was not.
Liltz pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. She served a few months but was granted bond so she could receive proper medical attention.
Her lawyer then argued for clemency as he and Liltz feared she would die in prison while serving her sentence. But Liltz was ordered to report to prison after the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.
Bonnie Liltz’s body was found in her home after family members called 911. Authorities are waiting on autopsy and toxicology test results before confirming a cause of death, whether it is indeed suicide or it’s other causes.