14-year-old found stabbed in bed, two women ‘semi-conscious’ in River Grove
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org June 10, 2013 8:03AM
Police are investigating a body found at 8142 Grand ave. in River Grove Monday morning. | Dan Rozek~Sun-Times
Updated: July 12, 2013 6:14AM
Dorothy Spourdalakis struggled to care for her 14-year-old son, who had a severe form of autism. But she was reluctant to see the stocky, 225-pound teenager physically restrained.
Still, when the River Grove teen had to be hospitalized, police and paramedics usually were called to the family’s apartment to help restrain and transport Alex.
“When she needed to take him, she needed our help,” River Grove Police Chief Rodger Loni said Monday, describing the teen as “a big, strong, young man.”
Police were called to the family’s second-floor apartment Sunday for a different, more disturbing reason: Alex had been found stabbed to death in his bed.
The teen, who didn’t speak and had been hospitalized seven times since last November, suffered “numerous stab wounds” in his chest, Loni said.
His 50-year-old mother and a female caretaker also were discovered inside the locked apartment, both “semi-conscious” but otherwise not injured, Loni said. Both women remained hospitalized Monday.
No criminal charges had been filed by late Monday, but police in a statement said the slaying appeared to be “domestic in nature.”
Investigators weren’t searching for any suspects, Loni said.
Alex’s father and an uncle went to the residence around 3 p.m. Sunday after being unable to reach his mother or caretaker, Loni said.
Finding the apartment locked, they forced their way in, found the slain teen and called police, Loni said.
In a TV interview several months ago, Dorothy Spourdalakis had publicly expressed concerns about the way her son was treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
“They’re treating the behaviors with meds, but they don’t know what causes the behaviors, they refuse to give him the medical care he needs,” Dorothy said in the March interview with WFLD-Channel 32.
She specifically complained about the hospital’s use of restraints to control the teen.
“He’s been in restraints for so many days that when they take him out of restraints, he actually wants to be put back. Because he’s been conditioned to think that it’s OK,” Spourdalakis told WFLD.
Loyola declined then and also again on Monday to comment on the boy’s condition or treatment.
“One of our highest priorities as a health system is to ensure our patients are safe and that their privacy is protected,” hospital officials said in a statement.
Spourdalakis in an undated Internet video had expressed similar concerns about her son being restrained.
“He needs something simple, in the country where he can run around, get the treatment he needs so he can get better,” Spourdalakis said in an undated video posted on the Internet by an autism advocacy group.
“Putting him in a psych facility and chasing him around the room with syringes, uh, that’s not the answer,” she said in the video clip.
In January, the state’s child welfare agency received a report of alleged neglect involving the teen’s mother.
It was deemed unfounded in April, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said on Monday.
The agency reached out unsuccessfully by phone and mail to offer help to Alex’s family after the complaint was made, DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin said.
“We made numerous attempts to offer services to the family,” Clarkin said.
Alex’s family never responded, he said.