Boy Allegedly Poisoned by Mom Had Similar Scare as Baby
But years of red flags weren't enough to save Garnett Spears
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2014 5:10 PM CDT
In this June 17, 2014, file photo, Lacey Spears is escorted into the courtroom at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains.   (AP Photo/The Journal News, Ricky Flores, File)

(Newser) – A 5-year-old boy from New York's Rockland County was allegedly fatally poisoned by his mother earlier this year. The worst part might be that warning signs were present almost from the day Garnett Spears was born, reports the Journal News. The newspaper obtained a fatality report about Garnett that reveals officials in Alabama, where he was born, expressed concern about mother Lacey Spears' "emotional stability" and said she spoke of wanting to harm him just five weeks after his birth. She was presumed to suffer from postpartum depression and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, in which a parent looking for sympathy deliberately sickens a child, but there's no sign that health authorities in the state followed up on the case.

Chillingly, the boy suffered from inexplicably high sodium levels before his first birthday, the same kind of poisoning blamed in his death four years later. At some point, the single mother and son moved to Florida, where she was twice investigated for abuse by state welfare authorities. Again, Garnett stayed in her care, and they moved to New York. Authorities there opened a formal investigation days before the hospitalized boy died in January after receiving a report "the subject child had ongoing suspicious seizure activity that escalated when he was left alone with his mother." Lacey Spears, who detailed her son's ailments on Facebook, remains jailed on murder charges. The Journal News previously wrote a multi-part series on Garnett's death, and links can be found here.