Former Blagojevich aide Christopher Kelly tried to kill himself on Sept. 8, four days before he took another overdose, this one fatal, officials said today.
Kelly apparently took over-the-counter meds after pleading guilty to federal charges last week. Friends and family tried to get him help in the days afterward, but to no avail, said Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans.
On Friday night, Kelly set up a chamber in a rented trailer at the lumber yard where he set up photographs of his children before ingesting the substances that apparently killed him.
Then, for some reason he inexplicably left the trailer and got into his Cadillac Escalade where he texted his 30-year-old girlfriend Clarissa Flores-Buhelos.
That communication set up the chain of events in which Kelly was taken to two hospitals before dying Saturday morning.
Police are in possession of a suicide note -- apparently but not conclusively written by Kelly -- which was given to them by a family friend who did not want to be identified. The note was allegedly written for a previous suicide attempt.
According to Evans, police found an open aspirin bottle and several pills which they could not identify in Kelly's SUV.
Evans said police also found an "unopened box of rat poison" at the scene. She added that there was also "a sleeping bag, there were photos of three young girls and miscellaneous other items including food, trash and clothing."
When Kelly was asked at the hospital whether he overdosed on Tylenol or aspirin, Kelly said "no, I only took Tylenol for pain. I had recent surgery on my private parts."
The police have concluded the death "was an apparent suicide" and that no one else was involved. "There is no evidence whatsoever of involvement by other persons," said Evans.
Kelly had raised millions of dollars for Blagojevich's campaigns and had emerged as a trusted adviser — but became snared in the federal investigation of corruption swirling around the administration of the now-impeached governor.
An admitted high-stakes gambler who dropped large sums at the tables in Las Vegas and with bookies, Kelly was due to go on trial on corruption charges with Blagojevich, the impeached governor's brother and three other men on June 3.
Kelly, a roofing contractor from Chicago's southern suburbs, had already pleaded guilty to $1.3 million in tax fraud and swindling two airlines in connection with $8.5 million in contracts for work on their hangars at O'Hare International Airport. He had been sentenced to three years on the tax charge and had signed a plea agreement under which he was to be sentenced to five years in the O'Hare contracts case. Those were to be served consecutively.
The FBI said Monday that it is not involved in the investigation. "We have no jurisdiction," said Cynthia Yates, a spokeswoman at the FBI's Chicago office. "It's a local matter."