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Garnett-Paul Spears was a five-year-old boy and the subject of Garnett’s Journey, a personal blog run by his mother Lacey Spears to chronicle his lifelong battle with chronic illnesses, who mysteriously died as a result of a lethal-level intake of sodium during a hospital visit in June 2014. Shortly after Garnett was pronounced brain dead, Lacey Spears was charged with murder on suspicion that she poisoned her son with a fatal dose of sodium, which prompted many to speculate that she had been making her child ill for online attention and sympathy, a psychiatric disorder known as Münchausen syndrome by proxy.
On June 3rd, 2011, Spears launched the blog Garnett’s Journey on Blogspot to write about her experiences raising her chronically ill son as a single mom without the support of his father Blake, a man whom she claimed was a deceased police officer but revealed to have been fabricated.
In 2012, the pair moved to Chestnut Ridge, New York. On January 17th, 2014, Spears brought Garnett-Paul to the Nyack Hospital in New York state, informing staff that her son was suffering from seizures. Two days later, Garnett-Paul’s sodium levels inexplicably rose while Spears was sharing her son’s hospital room. After being transferred to the Westchester Medical Center, doctors informed the New York state child’s services they suspected Spears was intentionally poisoning her son. Police subsequently obtained a search warrant and discovered medical records revealing that Garnett-Paul had been hospitalized a total of 23 times. A neighbor informed police that Spears requested she go inside her home and destroy one of Garnett-Paul’s feeding bags, which allegedly was found to contain high amounts of sodium. On January 23rd, Garnett-Paul died while hospitalized due to complications from the elevated sodium levels.
News Media Coverage
On March 24th, 2014, The Journal News reported that after breaking things off with Garnett-Paul’s biological father Chris Hill, Spears began telling people that her son’s father was a deceased police officer named Blake. The article went on to reveal that following Garnett-Paul’s death, Spears accepted Hill’s Facebook request and admitted he was actually the boy’s father. On June 19th, The Journal News published an article about Spears’ online habits, noting she had posted photographs of a young boy named JonJon for whom she was a nanny on the social networking site Myspace, along with captions and comments claiming to be his mother. The article also revealed that JonJon consistently suffered from ear infections that ceased when he was no longer under Spears’ care.
Arrest and Trial
On June 17th, 2014, Spears turned herself into authorities in Westchester County, New York after being charged with second-degree depraved murder and first-degree manslaughter, for which she submitted a plea of not guilty. Prosecutors informed local media that evidence revealed Spears had been feeding Garnett-Paul dangerous amounts of salt after researching its effects online.
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