Mother Charged in Chestnut Ridge Boy’s Death

Former Chestnut Ridge resident Lacey Spears was arrested Tuesday following an investigation that began with the January 23 death of her five-year old son Garnett at Westchester Mrdical Center in Valhalla. According to police they suspect that the 26-year old mother was suffering from Munchausen by Proxy, a psychological disorder that causes parents to medically abuse their children to gain attention or sympathy. Assistant District Attorney Doreen Lloyd stated at the court hearing on Tuesday that Garnett’s visit to Nyack Hospital, just before he was transferred to Westchester’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, is when Spears allegedly delivered the fatal amounts of sodium to the boy through his stomach tube, leading to his rapid overnight downturn in health. According to Lloyd investigators provided internet searches completed by Spears showing that she had searched for the effects of salt on young children. During the investigation a neighbor at the Chestnut Ridge Fellowship Community reported to police that Spears had called her and asked her to throw out an old feeding bag that police eventually found to have high traces of sodium in it. Authorities arrested Spears on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter after they obtained a warrant from a grand jury’s vote based on a two-week long presentation of facts from the investigation on Spears’ life in New York, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. Spears pleaded not guilty to both charges, which state she acted with depraved indifference toward Garnett’s life, not intentionally killing him, and was released to be held at Westchester County Jail without bail. She will return to court on July 2 and faces twenty-five years for manslaughter and twenty-five years to life for murder.

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