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Mommy blogger charged in death of infant: Mom poisons son for attention?

A 26-year-old mommy blogger charged in the death of her infant son in January faces 25 years to life in prison. Lacey Spears was informed of charges Tuesday by a New York court in her role in allegedly poisoning her 5-month-old son with lethal amounts of sodium chloride aka common table salt. Known for documenting her son's chronic illness on social media, Spears supposedly killed the boy due to her own mental disorder known as Muchausen, according to a June 18 CBS News report.

Police crime scene tape (file photo)
Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images

The mother blogger was charged in a New York court on two counts: second-degree depraved murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of her child, Garnett Spears.

The first charge simply means that a death occurred, but intent to kill is not often the motive. Instead, it contains the element of "extreme recklessness," wrote CBS.

Spears' child had been in and out of hospitals for most of his life and on one particular admission just prior to his death, doctors found a large and deadly amount of salt in his system. Just prior to his death, Lacey must have become nervous; allegedly, she phoned a friend and asked them to get rid of a bag that was used to feed baby Garnett though a tube. Police later obtained the bag and confirmed the large volume of salt inside. Sadly, the child died from the fatal dose.

Sources say the boy's mom blogged about the boy's sickness on "Garnett's Journey." There, she often talked about the boy's illness and her depression about the "loss" of her soulmate -- Garnett's father -- Blake.

The mommy blogger was charged in the death of her son after police and the district attorney built a solid case against the troubled mother. Authorities believe the motive in the fatal poisoning was the mother's mental disorder, a type of behavior present when someone does things for attention.

According to AllPsych, Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (or MBPS) "is characterized by a parent, usually the mother, who intentionally causes illness in her child..." and "is caused by a need for attention and compassion to placate self-doubt in the sufferer."

Investigators think Spears was deceitful, as evidenced from an incident that took place in the past while she was baby-sitting. Then, the mommy-turned blogger was caring for a little boy named Jonathan. At some point, she allegedly posted pictures of the child on her MySpace page and claimed he was her child. The real mom then cut ties with her after learning of the woman’s misrepresentation.

Reportedly, a reader saw the picture of the child and asked if the baby was Spears' child. Her response: "Yes, he is. That's the love of my life."

It's sad that a mother would take the life of her child. And despite the existence of a possible mental dysfunction, many readers can't get beyond the fact that a hapless life was taken away by the hand that gave it.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story.

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