- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) - A Schaumburg woman charged with killing her daughter in a botched murder-suicide attempt has received an outpouring of sympathy, according to her attorney.

Bonnie Liltz, 55, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Courtney, last month. Authorities accuse her of giving her 28-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy, a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medication and then taking some herself so they would both overdose.

On May 27, Liltz and her daughter were found unresponsive in their Schaumburg home, where first responders found evidence of apparent overdoses of various medications, according to police.

Courtney never regained consciousness and was eventually taken off of life support after being pronounced brain dead a week later.

Authorities also recovered a suicide note in which Liltz, a two-time cancer survivor with ongoing medical problems, wrote that she worried about what would happen to her daughter if she left her behind.

“If I go first, what will happen to her?” Liltz wrote in the suicide note, according to police. “I don’t want her to live in an institution for the rest of her life.”

On a daily basis, Liltz bathed Courtney, brushed her hair, dressed her and kept her in pristine condition, said her attorney, Thomas Glasgow.

“This is someone who ended up taking care of a child who was cast off twice before by society and took her in,” he said of Liltz’s decision to care for Courtney, who was put up for adoption by her biological parents and later surrendered by her first adoptive parents. There was no one else in the world that would have cared for Courtney the way that Bonnie did.”

Glasgow believes his client’s case points to a larger problem with a dwindling supply of funding to provide assistance to families caring for disabled children.

“Now with the proposed budget another $33 million taken from this, what are families who have disabled children to do,” Glasgow asked, referring to proposed cuts in the state budget beginning July 1.

Liltz’s situation resonates with anyone who has a child with disabilities, he said, adding that it becomes especially difficult when a child reaches a certain age and is no longer eligible for state assistance.

The support Liltz has received from strangers is “astonishing,” with several people offering to pay her $100,000 bail, Glasgow said.

“Everyone has stated what an incredible woman Bonnie is,” he said.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the case to the Daily Herald.

Liltz will plead not guilty to the murder charge, Glasgow said. She’s due back in court July 8.

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