Story Summary

Autistic teen fatally stabbed in suburb

Alex Spourdalakis, 14, was found stabbed to death in his home in suburban River Grove.

Spourdalakis was autistic, lived with his mother in an apartment.

The teen’s mother and caregiver, Dorothy Spourdalakis and Jolanta Skrodzka, respectively, have been charged with his murder.

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A mother and caregiver charged with murdering an autistic boy faced a judge Wednesday.

Dorothy Spourdalakis and Jolanta Skrodzka are accused of slipping 14 year-old Alex Spourdalakis sleeping pills, then stabbing him.

Prosecutors say the women confessed to the murder.

The two believed he was suffering from deteriorating health.

The women reportedly also attempted suicide by taking pills.

They were found semi-conscious with the boy’s body in their apartment in River Grove.

They will return to court on July 3rd.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this report.

Bail was denied today for two women charged in fatal stabbing of a River Grove teen.

50-year-old Dorothy Spourdalakis, the victim’s mother, and 44-year-old Jolanta Skrodzka , the victim’s god mother and caregiver, were charged with murdering  14-year-old Alex Spourdalakis.

During today’s hearing, prosecutors said the two women plotted for a week to carry out the murder. The teenager was diagnosed with severe autism.  His family has said he wasn’t given the proper treatment at a local hospital during a visit.

Prosecutors say his mother and caregiver first tried to kill him by giving him an overdose of his prescribed sleeping pills.  When that didn’t work, they say his mother went to the kitchen to get a knife.

Prosecutors say the caregiver then killed the family cat, before the two women tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills.  The women and the boy’s body were discovered in their apartment on the 8100 block of Grand Ave in River Grove.

Before attempting suicide, the women wrote a letter explaining they had killed the boy because his health had deteriorated and he was suffering.

The case has sparked outrage and concern among parents and family members of children who suffer from autism.

Dr. Mojgan Makki, a child psychiatrist and expert on autism at Rush University Medical Center, says it’s clear the mother and caretaker didn’t have the resources and support they needed in order to take care of the boy.  She says parents of autistic children need to do everything possible to find support.

Bail was denied today for a mother and a caregiver charged with the stabbing death of an autistic teen.  Prosecutors said it was a cold, calculated, premeditated murder.

Prosecutors said the victim’s mother and caregiver, who is also the boy’s godmother, told police they killed Alex Spourdalakis, 14, because they wanted to end his suffering.

In court this morning, prosecutors said Dorothy Spourdalakis, 50, and Jolanta Skrodzka, 44, plotted for a week to kill Alex.

The boy had been diagnosised with severe autism, as well as various other illnesses, and his health had recently deteriorated.  The women were also upset about what they believed was subpar medical care he received.

On Friday evening, after a week of planning, prosecutors say the two women wrote a letter explaining their reasoning and then gave Alex an overdose of his prescription sleep medication, hoping that would kill him.  But when that failed, prosecutors say they turned to a more brutal method.

“After several hours defendant Spourdalakis took a knife from the kitchen, went into the victim’s bedroom and stabbed him four times in the chest, including two stab wounds to the heart,” Asst. Cook County State’s Attorney Brittney Burns told reporters today at the Maywood courthouse.  “She also slit his wrist which almost severed his hand from his arm.”

“Defendant Spourdalakis then gave the knife to defendant Skrodzka, who used the same knife to stab the cat,”  Burns continued.

Prosecutors say the women killed the cat because they did not want it to end up in a shelter after they all died. Afterwards the two women took an overdose of various pills, locked themselves in the room with Alex and waited to die.

They were found Sunday afternoon by family members.  Alex was pronounced dead and the women were rushed to the hospital.

Prosecutors say both women have admitted killing Alex.  Authorities have also found the murder weapon.

The two women will be back in court on June 19 at 9 a.m.

One other interesting note that came out in court today — the godmother, Jolanta Skrodzka, completed medical school when she was in Poland.

The mother and a caregiver of an autistic teen who was found fatally stabbed, are expected in bond court today.

According to the Cook County State’s attorney, Dorothy Spourdalakis, 50, and the caregiver, Jolanta Agata Skrodzka, 44, were each charged with one count of first-degree murder of Alex Spourdalakis. He lived with his mother in an apartment in the 8100 block of West Grand Ave in River Grover.

The boy was found while his mother and caregiver were in another room in a semi-conscious state, police said.

Authorities said the women had “issues” including “frustration” with the condition and care of the child including dealing with his with autism.

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.

Police are investigating the death of Alex Spourdalakis, 14, who was found stabbed to death Sunday in his home in suburban River Grove.

The autistic teen lived with his mother in an apartment on the second floor of a building in the 8100 block of West Grand Avenue.

Spourdalakis was found stabbed to death is his bed.  Police also found his mother and a caregiver near the body.  They are hospitalized.

River Grove police responded to a call from a relative at about 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  They found the teen with multiple stab wounds to his chest.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say Spourdalakis’ mother and the caregiver were semi-conscious. One was on the boy’s bed, the other was lying on the floor next to the bed.

The women did not have visible injuries.  They remain at Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park.

Officers did not find a weapon in the apartment.

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.  “But until we can talk to the mother and the caregiver it’s hard to say exactly what happened and how this young man was killed,” he said.

Police are still waiting to interview the boy’s mother and the caregiver.  They are also awaiting autopsy results from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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