An Illinois mother convicted of killing her disabled daughter took her own life on Saturday rather than return to prison.
Bonnie Liltz was found dead in her residence with no evidence of foul play, her attorney Thomas Glasgow said, according to ABC7 Chicago.
Liltz was ordered by a judge last Tuesday to return to prison to finish her four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. She was due back in jail Monday, but her family says she believed she would die in the facility due to a lack of proper medical care for her variety of health problems.
The 57-year-old told her mother she was going out to lunch and a movie with a friend on Saturday. Instead, she wrote suicide notes to family and friends, then swallowed a lethal dose of pills.
Liltz family revealed that her suicide notes indicated she took her life so she wouldn’t have to “die” in prison.
“She said she loved us very much and that she’s sorry, that she just could not go back to that place,” Liltz sister Sue Liltz told ABC7.
Liltz had served about three months of her sentence before a judge released her on bond during her appeal. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after she gave herself and disabled daughter Courtney, who had severe celebral palsy, an overdose of pills in 2015. Liltz survived the dose while Courtney died.
Her family believes Liltz gave Courtney the lethal dose of medication out of love. She feared her own death was nearing, so she decided that they would be together in death.
“All she ever wanted was to be with her Courtney,” Liltz’s mother Glady Liltz said. “She was such, such a good mother.”
Liltz appealed the court’s conviction to the Illinois Supreme Court, but it was denied in October. Shortly after, the mother defended her action to take her daughter’s life.
“Did I do the right thing, but then I think, she’s in a better place,” Liltz said of her actions.
Her suicide note to her attorneys explained that she was tired of fighting and wanted to be with her daughter. Rather than wait for her imminent death in prison, she decided to take her own life.