Police investigate stabbing death of suburban autistic teen

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Police are investigating the death of a 14-year-old who was found stabbed to death Sunday in his home in suburban River Grove.

Alex Spourdalakis, who was autistic, lived with his mother in an apartment in the 8100 block of West Grand Ave.

Spourdalakis was found stabbed to death is his bed.  Police also found his mother and a caregiver semi-conscious.  They are hospitalized.

Officers did not find a weapon in the apartment.
The Dept of Child and Family Services says it is investigating allegations of abuse involving the mother and a caregiver.

Prior to Sunday’s incident, allegations of neglect were made against the mother in January but was unfounded in April.

DCFS says the made repeated attempt to offer their services and programs but those attempts were reportedly rejected by the family.

The River Grove Police and Fire Departments have had contact with the autistic teen before.

Police Chief Rodger Loni says the teen would become violent and refuse to go to the hospital for routine appointments.  “He was a big, strong boy and he didn’t want to go to the hospital willingly so he had to be restrained when they took him for treatment,” Loni told WGN.

Chief Loni said police suspect foul play.  They are talking with the mother and caregiver.


  • Rileysmom

    The only abuse this child faced was by Loyola Medical. His mother BEGGED them for help and they tied her son to a bed and dosed him repeatedly with anti psychotics for weeks. NEVER ONCE addressing WHY Dorothy took him in to the hospital which was severe gut pain. NEVER scoped him. Never did an ultrasound….THAT'S the abuse that needs to be INVESTIGATED. Dorothy NEVER abused her child. The HOSPITAL was the one involved in calling CPS. Loyola Medical…you have this child's DEATH ON YOU.

  • Diane

    The hospital did not stab this child to death. If Loyola did not provide proper treatment for the child his mother should have taken him to another hospital. I am not saying she abused her child or harmed him in any way , but the incident you are speaking of doesn't seem to help explain what happened to the young man.

    • Rileysmom

      She BEGGED for help from them and they kept him prisoner with a GUARD. Tied a child in pain to a BED. They would not allow her to leave the hospital. The hospital called CPS on her because she was begging for help with her son's pain. They thought SHE was causing his pain without ONE single scope and NO medical testing to see if he was impacted or had a twisted bowel. NOT ONE and then released him. It explains quite a bit if you understood the amount of PAIN they sent Alex home in a couple of months ago. Dorothy did her best to help her son. If she DID do this, maybe she got tired of being told her son's pain was all in his head because he had autism? Maybe watching her son writhe in pain day after day finally pushed her? You have no idea what it's like to watch your child suffer in pain and the medical community write your child's pain off as a "mental disorder". Loyola ADDED to this mothers mental state and they ARE responsible for the downward spiral that this family went through. Read the article I posted before you make any more asinine comments about the hospital not being at least in part, responsible.

  • Andrea

    WGN : why are you letting this libelous tirade go on unchecked? you have a responsibility to not post things that have not been checked. this is very unprofessional of you.

  • Rileysmom

    Liable tirade? Are you an employee of the hospital? This the TRUTH. Sorry you can't see this. Loyola is at least in part responsible for NOT giving Alex the care he DESERVED. You are a heartless, soulless creature. READ THE LINKS PROVIDE TO YOU. Are you serious? That you can't see the PAIN this mother and child faced?

  • Andrea

    actually I am not related to the hospital at all. I just have the professional insight to know that there is much we dont know about autism and that many unscrupulous people are feeding off desperate parents. I checked your website out, by the way. these is some really nutty stuff on there.
    you are obviously very much involved in this topic and I am not going to aggravate you anymore. just remember – there are two sides to every story…
    May God give you Peace. I mean that.

    • Rileysmom

      My website? I don't have a website. I'm the mother of a child with severe autism. Again you are a heartless wretch of a person. I know plenty about autism. It's my life. "Professional insight"? Ohhhh. I see, you consider yourself some sort of expert on autism because you're a "professional" some thing or other. I got it. Lost cause trying to speak to someone like you about what parents with children with severe autism and pain face. Oh and I'm one of those "professionals" too. I even gots me a full flalutin' edu-ma-cation and all that. I just happen to be a parent who was also involved in trying to get Loyola to treat Alex and his mother like human beings. At least some of us "professionals" care about the human spirit. Which you're pretty much lacking in compassion.

  • Andrea

    Oh and about Dr. Wakefield….are you kidding me? we put him out to liar's pasture a few years ago. no need to keep banging that drum!!!!

    • Rileysmom

      You have no idea about the "new" developments in the Wakefield case. You are too funny. All sort of fun things happening with him.

    • Savanna Appletree

      Who doesn't know what's going on?? Wakefield was at the forefront in his field until he said the truth. His studies have been duplicated 24 times.. Give it a rest.

  • Andrea

    a warning to parents of autistic children: the website mentioned about contains dangerous and unproven ideas about autism. read it with skepticism.

    • Rileysmom

      Dang, just got waylaid by a troll and here I thought I knew all the tricks. You got me good. Warning to parents of vaccine injury…what you read on those pages…may save your child's life.

      • Andrea

        or get your kid dead from measles. Being a mother of an autistic child may give you insight into a terrible disease – it doesn't give you authority to spew anger and dangerous misinformation.

  • Rileysmom

    A letter from Dorothy dated March 23, 2013. "Age of Autism" just happened to publish it. It's important to hear her words of her love for Alex and the struggles they have faced at the hands of the medical community. This is not an isolated incident. Parents of children with autism across the country struggle just to have the basic medical needs of their child met. It is believed that "autism" is only a mental disease but it is so much more. These children are physically sick. Horrible gut pain and there have been studies about what is referred to as "autism gut". It is finally just starting to be recognized. Please understand that while I hope and pray that Dorothy had nothing to do with this…autism parents really don't receive a whole lot of support from any one but those in the autism "community". http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/update-alex-sp

  • MomOfThree

    Andrea… Please leave educated autism families alone, we have enough hardships in helping our children and surely don't need to be attacked by those who know half truths.
    As a Christian, your "May God give you peace" comment is quite inappropriate alongside your judgmental comments.

  • jan

    DCFS is LYING!!!!!!
    They were not there for Alex’s benefit. Alex was suffering from GI distress. During his time at Loyola, there was never a scope or any type of tests performed. All they did was dope the kid with psychotropic drugs.
    When Dorothy requested that Alex be transferred to another hospital then DCFS stepped in and threatened to take away her parental rights!

    Please listen! This kid went in with GI distress. But NOTHING was done to treat that issue because Alex was autistic.

    Does that make any sense?
    Because Loyola refused to treat Alex I personally think they are partly responsible for Alex’s final outcome. And DCFS needs to learn about autism.

  • IndianaNurse

    How about the opinion of another mother if a severely vaccine injured teenage boy? I am also a Registered Nurse and a former county health vaccine nurse. I gave hundreds of vaccines in my role and I never once looked at the ingredients in them, I never looked at any if the supposed safety data on them, I never reported all the fevers, lethargy, insomnia, inconsolable crying, etc signs of encephalitis reported to me by parents. I was trained that all those symptoms were normal and a very common adverse reaction to these drugs called vaccines. After giving my own baby the MMR, I witnessed his horrific health deterioration. He lost his speech. His balance became awkward. He held his arms up and hummed, he made facial grimaces (painful grimaces) and I was told he was not showing pain. He was just autistic and that is what they do. He developed daily, multiple episodes a day of frothy nasty diarrhea. All normal for "autistics". It took us years to discover what happened. We pulled all medical records. We viewed home videos and pictures until we pin pointed his slow demise. He was healthy at his MMR shot day. Then the nightmare began. He will be 17 years old soon and I have spent the last 15 years researching vaccines and antibiotics and the gut. Wakefiled had nothing to do with our understanding of our sons injury. If only I had heard of Wakefiled before I gave my son that MMR. I might have looked into it. We were a "vaccinating family". We followed the never studied schedule. Blindly. Trustingly. Like like tens of thousands of other families, we are screaming to the world to never consent to these drugs without spending at least a year researching them. Get every package insert and study it all. Look at the research on each ingredient and then the studies on the vaccine schedule as given (there are none). Look at the cancer studies on these drugs (there are none) . And look at the overal health outcomes of the never vaccinated vs the fully vaccinated (good luck with that). My heart is broken for Alex. And Dorothy. 1 in at least every 50 school children has "autism" now. When will the masses wake up? RN, BSN

  • shiri

    Andrea, Until you read all of the scientific studies showing the link between GI issues and Autism, and understand how Loyola denied Alex basic testing and treatment for GI issues and gave him psychotropic drugs instead – then I think you will not understand the true injustice here. I can tell you that my own son had severe drooling, nonstop diarrhea, would press down on his stomach in pain and engaged in self injurous behavior — and all his doctors recommended behavior therapy instead of a GI. Then I began to treat my sons GI issues and all of that went away. Many of these children are in pain, and yet the medical community refuses to acknowledge that autism is a miedical condition and not a psychiatric one. This is the real tragedy here. Alex's family begged and begged for treatment and help to stop her son's torment. No one should have to suffer the way Alex did. Just because he was autistic and nonverbal does not mean he should not have gotten treatment and help.

  • keeping real

    well tie down a Pt is for the safety of the pt and staff!!! vaccine those help and leaving your child unprotected is also crazy!!!

  • Beth

    Andrea, it is clear from unwarranted vitriol in your comments that you are a paid pharma troll. Only paid pharma trolls post such hateful comments.

    I feel terribly for the entire Spourdalakis family, and I hope that Alex rests in peace in a much kinder place.

  • gail

    my heart also goes out to the spourdalakis family i feel the mother pain on behalf of seeking out help for her son, i have a daughter that have rett syndrome disease and this disease has some similarities of autism, my is nonverbal and has gastro (GI) problems, as a matter of fact my daughter has a stomach tube and severe constipation, i spent six years taking my daughter back and forward to the hospital emergency room most of time because of GI problems i begged the doctors to go deeper into my daughter GI problems because she was constantly in pain, and the doctors would say we don't think she's in pain she's just probably having over all complication due to her disease rett syndrome disease, just give her tylenol i told the doctors no i disagree my daughter is experiencing severe pain, and something got to be done about this, i am still battling with the doctors on this issue i'm going to get media attention regarding this issue, as a mother it is very painful to see your child suffer pain within they're body and nothing you can do but just plea for help, doctors need to take part of responsibility as well.

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