His mother, Lacey Spears, is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing him

By Nicole Weisensee Egan
September 21, 2014 08:40 AM
Westchester County District Attorney/AP

A 5-year-old boy whose mother, Lacey Spears, is accused of poisoning him to death with salt, was treated for salt poisoning as an infant, according to newly released documents obtained by The Journal News of Westchester County, New York.

The newspaper obtained Garnett Spears’ child fatality report from New York state officials after filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

“Medical records received from an Alabama hospital indicated the subject child was diagnosed with Hypernatremia, or elevated sodium levels, prior to his first birthday,” the report states.

Garnett died on Jan. 23 in the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, after being admitted for vomiting and seizures. Spears, 26, chronicled his last hospital stay on social media, as she had many of his previous illnesses.

On June 17, she was charged with second-degree murder. Spears, who was living in Chestnut Ridge, New York, prior to Garnett’s death, is being held without bail and has pleaded not guilty. Her next court hearing is Oct. 15.

While New York investigators have never officially said they believe Spears suffered from Munchausen by Proxy, a mental illness characterized by a parent sickening their child to get attention for themselves, the Alabama hospital raised this issue, the report states.

“In 2008, the mother was referred to mental health services with concerns of Post-Partum Depression and presumed Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy,” the child fatality report reads.

In addition, “The mother verbalized on 1/14/2009 that she wanted to harm the subject child and was referred to medical social services on 2/9/2009 for interpersonal conflict, stress and dysfunction,” according to the report.

The records do not state what the outcome of those referrals was.

Stephen Riebling, one of Spears’s attorneys, declined to comment on the report when reached by PEOPLE. Earlier this month, her defense team filed motions seeking to have Garnett’s previous medical records and any mention of Munchausen out of the trial.

The judge is expected to rule on those motions at the next hearing.