In a sign of the times, a mother in Chestnut Ridge, NY was documenting her 5-year-old son’s constant heath problems on her blog. Unfortunately, for Garnett-Paul Spears, his mother only seemed the typical doting parent on the outside. Little did Lacey Spears’ followers know that she was allegedly the one causing Garnett’s troubles.
Police believe that 26-year-old Spears was so desperate for attention that she intentionally made Garnett sick and used his illness to garner attention through the blog. In addition to blogging obsessively about his health problems, she made up an elaborate story about Garnett’s father having been a hero policeman who was killed in a car crash. Christ Hill, the man claiming to be Garnett’s real father, has come forward to say that he is alive and well. Hill says Garnett was conceived during a brief fling about six years ago.
Spears’ web of lies came to an end when she allegedly administered a fatal dose of sodium to Garnett while he was in the hospital, causing his death in January.Spears brought the boy to a hospital on January 17, stating that he’d been having seizures. The hospital allowed her to share her son’s room while they investigated his condition. In a mere two days, his sodium levels shot through the roof to a point where he was seriously in danger. He was transferred to a local children’s hospital, where he died.
Police believe that Spears was using the boy’s stomach tube to administer the sodium, and have charged her with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. The murder charge does not accuse her of intentionally killing her son, but instead of acting with a depraved level of indifference to his life. According to the assistant district attorney, investigators discovered through her Internet search history that she had been researching the effects of salt. Prosecutors are alleging that Spears has a condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which most often manifests as parents causing harm or illness to their children to garner sympathy. If proven, this would be one of the first known homicide cases from Munchausens in the age of social media.
She faces a reported 25 years to life for the murder charge, and an additional 25 years for the manslaughter charge. She is due back in court in early July.
CBS 2 brings us this report:
Mom charged with fatally poisoning son for posts on mommy blog (WCVB Boston)
Lacey Spears pleads not guilty of murder in son’s death (The Journal News, Lower Hudson area)
Social media mom accused of poisoning son with salt charged with murder (NY Daily News)