Mom Poisons Child With Salt

| by Sheena Vasani
Kimberly MartinesKimberly Martines

A 17-month-old girl was hospitalized and is now on life support after her mother poisoned her with salt July 30.

Authorities have since arrested 23-year-old Kimberly Nicole Martines and have charged her with felony child abuse, WHNS reports.

While Martines admits to feeding the child a teaspoon of salt, authorities are not yet clear on what her motives were.

The child was sent to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center after suffering seizures and became unresponsive.

Authorities say the child received medical attention in November of 2015 for poor weight gain and other developmental difficulties.

It’s not the first time a mother was arrested for salt poisoning, USA Today reports.

In 2015, a New York judge sentenced 27-year-old Lacey Spears, a popular mommy blogger, to 20 years in prison after she poisoned her 5-year-old son to death with salt.

"Her actions that day, they were inhuman. They despicable. They were evil," said Doreen Lloyd, Westchester County's assistant district attorney.

The woman had injected a lethal dose of salt into the child while he was sick and in the hospital.

"In many respects, your crime is unfathomable in its cruelty; it gives rise to many questions I quite frankly don't have answers for," Acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary told Spears in court.

Neary said he did not inflict the maximum sentence on Spears, as he believes she has a mental illness known as Munchausen by proxy.

The rare illness causes caregivers to purposefully hurt people to gain attention, usually experienced by those whose self-esteems are underdeveloped.

"If you're a girl raised in a family in which you don't get the [nurturing] that every person needs to form a healthy personality, you start to take in things from the outside that will give you a ready-made personality," said Dr. Mark Sirkin, a clinical psychologist who has not examined Spears.

"She could get praise -- which I'm guessing she desperately sought -- for being a good mother, role model, and caretaker," Sirkin said. "And the Internet gave it this extra oomph, a lot of juice. Suddenly, she's not just a good mom in a small family group, she's an international good mom, a viral good mom."

She had reportedly exhibited unusual symptoms since she was in high school. Friends say they recall trying to stage an intervention after she was caught weaving a web of lies about abuse, abortion and anorexia.

Sources: WHNSUSA Today (2) / Photo credit: SCSO via WHNS

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