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Despairing Mom, Caregiver Killed Autistic Boy: Cops

Pair charged with murder after surviving apparent suicide attempt
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 3:48 AM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2013 4:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Months after recording a plea for help, the mother of a severely autistic 14-year-old boy and a close family friend who helped care for the boy around the clock stabbed the teen to death before taking pills in an apparent suicide attempt and lying down beside him, police in Illinois say. The mother and the caregiver survived and have been charged with first-degree murder, the Chicago Tribune reports. A police spokesman says officers had been called to the home on several occasions to help transport Alex Spourdalakis, who weighed more than 200 pounds and was sometimes violent, to medical appointments.

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"He was big and strong and unwilling to go to the doctor," the officer says. "We had to restrain and hold him down." In a video recorded earlier this year, the mother said her son "needs something simple, in the country, where he can run around, get the treatment that he needs so he can get better." Authorities found a three-page note in the home describing the ordeal of looking after the teen, though state officials say the family was offered help but turned it down, ABC7 reports (Read more Alex Spourdalakis stories.)

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