Police are investigating whether a mommy blogger who frequently wrote about her son's "courageous" battle with sickness was actually just poisoning him to get attention.
Lacey Spears, 26, of upstate New York, hasn't been charged with a crime. But she's at the center of a criminal probe after investigators found that her 5-year-old son, Garnett, had suspiciously high levels of sodium in his bloodstream before he died in January, according to CBS News. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Garnett had been in and out of the hospital his entire life for various illnesses. His mother documented his medical problems in a blog called "Garnett's Journey." Police expect their investigation to prove that Spears was feeding him life-threatening amounts of salt and then blogging about his declining health in a case of Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, a psychiatric disorder in which a parent sickens a child for sympathy, according to The Journal News.
From the paper:
On [her blog], she chronicled hospital stays and the loss of her soulmate, Garnett's daddy, Blake.
On Jan. 19, 5-year-old Garnett was airlifted from Nyack Hospital to Westchester Medical Center, where doctors found extreme levels of sodium in the boy's system, even as Lacey shared photos of him on life support. He died Jan. 23. Before he died, Westchester County police, the district attorney and Ramapo police began an investigation.
As Garnett lay dying in Westchester Medical Center, Lacey phoned a friend at the Fellowship and asked her to get rid of one of the bags she used to feed Garnett through a tube in his abdomen. Police later seized the bag, which sources say contained a high concentration of sodium.
Meanwhile, Spears' lawyer denies that she tried to get rid of evidence in her son's death.
"Lacey is completely devastated by the loss of her son and absolutely denies harming her son in any way," said David Sachs, according to the International Business Times.
Spears' alleged deceit runs deep. The Journal News claims it uncovered a lie in which Spears claimed that she was the mother of a boy, Jonathon Strain, whom she was taking care of for a brief time. She reportedly posted a picture of the boy on her MySpace page, claiming she was his mother -- and that's when the boy's real mother decided to move him to a new child care provider.
I went and looked [on the page.] And it was a picture of Jonathon," said Jonathon's mother, Autumn Hunt. "In a comment under the picture, someone wrote, 'He's so cute, is he yours?' And Lacey replied, 'Yes, he is. That's the love of my life. He was born Feb. 14.'"
It's also unclear whether Garnett actually needed a feeding tube in the first place. Spears claimed he'd used it since birth, but people in Spears' community said they saw the boy eat food without the assistance of a tube.
The investigation remains with the Weschester County District Attorney's office, as well as local police and the Ramapo Police Department. Lucian Chalfen, a spokeman for the D.A., told CBS News that "a shoe will drop" in the case in a month or so.