Mother, caretaker charged in stabbing death of teen with autism - New York News

Prosecutors: Mother, caretaker planned for week to kill teen with autism

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Dorothy Spourdalakis, 55. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office) Dorothy Spourdalakis, 55. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office)
Jolanta Skrodzka, 44. (Photo courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office) Jolanta Skrodzka, 44. (Photo courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
Victim Alex Spourdalakis Victim Alex Spourdalakis
Victim Alex Spourdalakis Victim Alex Spourdalakis
Victim Alex Spourdalakis with mother Dorothy Spourdalakis on his 14th birthday Victim Alex Spourdalakis with mother Dorothy Spourdalakis on his 14th birthday
RIVER GROVE, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

A River Grove mother and another woman are charged with murder for allegedly stabbing an autistic 14-year-old teenager to death in the family's west suburban home.

Dorothy Spourdalakis, 55, and Jolanta Skrodzka, 44, were ordered held without bond in court on Wednesday.

They are both charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death, Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

"According to the defendant, the victim's emotional condition had deteriorated after his most recent prolonged illness," Assistant State's Attorney Brittney Burns said. "She discussed her plan to kill Alex with defendant Skrodzka, who agreed with her opinions and agreed to assist her in carrying out the murder."

Police found Alex Spourdalakis stabbed multiple times in the chest Sunday afternoon, lying in his bed in a second-floor apartment located above a business in the 8100 block of West Grand Avenue in River Grove.

Police found the teen's mother and a caregiver "semi-conscious" but uninjured in the locked apartment. They both lived there with Alex.

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Cook County State's Attorney Brittney Burns said both women allegedly admitted to killing Dorothy's 14-year-old son, Alex Spourdalakis, and tried to kill themselves.

Investigators said the boy's mother plotted to kill her son one week before his death, saying his condition had deteriorated.

"Both defendants also stated that the victim received sub-par treatment and care by medical providers, so they planned to kill the victim in order to end his perceived suffering," Burns says.

 Alex Spourdalakis had severe autism and numerous other health issues.

The women also planned to kill themselves, and their cat, which would have been left unattended in the event of their deaths.

Investigators said the women gave him an amount of his prescribed sleeping pills large enough to incur an overdose. When they checked on him afterward, Alex was still alive.

Dorothy Spourdalakis then allegedly stabbed her son with a knife four times in the chest and slit his wrist. Skrodzka allegedly stabbed the cat, rinsed the knife and placed it back in the kitchen.

Investigators said that the women took various pills to kill themselves. But they were found "semi-conscious."

Prosecutors say the two left a suicide note.

The teen had been hospitalized several times since November 2012 because of his medical condition, which was severe enough that his mother typically required help from police officers and paramedics. Police said they had been called to the home seven times since last November.

"When she needed to take him, she needed our help," River Grove Police Chief Rodger Loni said, describing Alex as weighing about 225 pounds.

"He was a big strong young man," Loni said.

Alex's father and an uncle went to the residence around 3 p.m. Sunday after being unable to reach his mother or caretaker, according to police.

Finding the apartment locked, they forced their way in, found the slain teen and called police.

Prosecutors said in court that both women stated they planned to kill Alex. Spourdalakis and Skrodzka will appear in court next week. Both could face up to life in prison if convicted.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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