Death of Chestnut Ridge 5-year-old Garnett Spears ruled a homicide

Garnett Spears had elevated levels of sodium in his body when he died. (4/30/14)

CHESTNUT RUIDGE - The death of a Rockland boy who died under mysterious circumstances earlier this year has been ruled a homicide.

The Westchester Medical Examiner ruled that 5-year-old Garnett Spears, of Chestnut Ridge, was poisoned with salt.

Westchester authorities are investigating the case because the Chestnut Ridge boy was transferred to Westchester Medical Center for treatment before he died on Jan. 23. Doctors found high levels of sodium in his body and in a feeding tube and bag that had been used to nourish the boy since he was a baby due to a digestive issue.

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There have been no arrests yet, but the investigation is now focused on the boy's mother, 26-year-old Lacey Spears, who is currently living in Kentucky.

Authorities say Spears used to write about her son's medical issues on social media platforms, and usually delved into how it impacted her emotionally.

Spears' lawyer says she has left the area and moved to Kentucky to be with her family.

The Westchester County District Attorney's Office says the case is still an active investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.

Detectives are looking into whether this is a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition where a parent purposely injures a child to garner sympathy.

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