Kelli Stapleton stands accused of attempting to commit a murder-suicide involving her autistic 14-year-old daughter Isabelle Stapleton.

Stapleton was charged with attempted murder on Thursday after police discovered her and her daughter unconscious in the family van due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Police believe that Stapleton was trying to carry out a murder-suicide, but have yet to declare a motive.

Kelli’s husband, Matt Stapleton, called police around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday after a phone call from his wife left him concerned for her and their daughter’s well being. Roughly five hours later, authorities found the Stapleton van. In between the front seats and the van’s first row were two charcoal grills. The windows on the van were rolled up, with the two passed out inside.

Kelli has chronicled her battles with raising Isabelle, including regular beatings from the autistic child and a struggle to have her placed within a school system. Through her blog, titled Statue Woe, Kelli’s love for her daughter coupled with her increasing frustration in trying to help her are obvious, signifying to experts that the stress may have prompted the mother’s alleged murder-suicide attempt.

"It can be overwhelming," psychiatrist Gerald Shiener told USA Today. "It can cause severe depressive symptoms and cause a depressive syndrome, with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness."

Although Kelli was released form the hospital a couple of days after the incident, Isabelle remains hospitalized in critical condition. "Within the last 12 to 24 hours, there's been some responsive behavior noted," Lt. Kip Belcher of the Michigan State Police Cadillac Post said. "She hasn't opened her eyes yet or talked or anything like that. But there's some physical movement to indicate responsiveness."

– Chelsea Regan

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