A terminally ill mother from Illinois who was convicted of killing her disabled daughter took her own life after being ordered to return to prison.
Police said they found Bonnie Liltz, 57, dead in her home on Nov. 25 with no evidence of foul play at the scene, WLS reported. Bonnie had committed suicide by overdosing on pills, according to her attorney, Thomas Glasgow.
Bonnie's death comes less than a week after a judge ordered her to go back to jail to finish her four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. She was convicted in 2015 for the murder of her profoundly disabled daughter, Courtney.
Bonnie told her mother she was going to a movie and lunch with a friend on the day of her death. But instead, Bonnie spent the day writing suicide notes to friends and family.
In the notes, Bonnie said she feared she would die in prison from lack of proper medical care given her numerous health problems.
"She said she loved us very much and that she's sorry, that she just could not go back to that place," Sue Liltz, Bonnie's sister, told WLS.
Bonnie had served only three months of her four-year sentence before she was set free on bond. In 2015, the terminally ill mother had given herself and Courtney a lethal dose of pills, fearing that her own death was imminent. Her daughter died from an overdose, but Bonnie survived.
"I am so sorry to put you all through this but I can't leave my daughter behind," Bonnie wrote in a suicide note at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Mail reports. "I go first, what will happen to her?
"I don't want her to live in an institution for the rest of her life. She is my life."
"All she ever wanted was to be with her Courtney. She was such, such a good mother," said Gladys Liltz, Bonnie's mother.
Bonnie had told the news station in October that she thought about her daughter every day.
"Did I do the right thing, but then I think, she's in a better place," Bonnie told WLS.
Bonnie's appeal had been denied by the Illinois Supreme Court. Her family said they knew at that point that Bonnie's fate was sealed.
"Illinois has abolished the death penalty, but she would have died in there," Sue explained. "She could not have survived and they didn't care."
In her suicide note to her attorneys, Bonnie wrote that she was tired of fighting, and that she knew she would not survive in jail. Her case was scheduled to be heard by Gov. Bruce Rauner's Prisoner Review Board in December.
Still, Bonnie wrote that she just wanted to be with her daughter.