This undated photo provided by the Westchester County District Attorney's office shows Lacey Spears, who was indicted June 17, 2014, in White Plains, N.Y., on charges of depraved murder and manslaughter in the death of her son, 5-year-old Garnett-Paul Spears. The 26-year-old woman, who documented her young son's persistent illness on social media, was charged with killing him by poisoning him in January with sodium while sharing her son's hospital room at Nyack Hospital in Rockland County.
A New York woman has been accused of a heinous crime — poisoning her own child — all for attention on her blog and social media. But the young mother is now saying she’s innocent.
Lacey Spears, 26, who is originally from Decatur, Alabama, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter charges in New York on Tuesday for allegedly poisoning her 5-year-old son, Garnett-Paul, to death with sodium. (Via WLEX)
“She brought her son to the hospital back in January because he was having seizures. Two days later, doctors saw his sodium levels rise to an extremely dangerous level with no medical explanation," WSTM reported.
New York’s The Journal News reports a doctor confronted Spears in the hospital telling her her son’s sodium levels were “metabolically impossible” and that “something wasn’t right.”
Sadly, her son died Jan. 23.
Spears regularly took to her blog and social media to report on her son’s illnesses, and seemed to be a doting mother.
But investigators tell a different story, claiming Spears had been poisoning the boy with toxic levels of sodium through a feeding tube the whole time. (Via CNN)
And they say they have a smoking gun.
There are "two pieces of damning evidence — Spears’ own computer seized by police found to have searches for poisoning children with sodium and a feeding bag said to be laced with lethal levels of salt," WPIX reported.
Authorities now say Spears could be have a syndrome known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
According to WebMD, the syndrome is characterized as “a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care.” Attention received for having a sick child often encourages the behavior.
A psychologist not involved with the case told WABC that Spears seems to fit the profile.
"By involving social media, you can get all of that press, or attention, and feel a sense of importance," said Dr. Richard Filewich. "These are people who probably as children were themselves neglected or abused."
Spears is due back in court July 2. She is currently being held without bail and could face life in prison if convicted.