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CBS 2: 5-Year-Old Garnett Spears Died Of Sodium Poisoning, Mother A Suspect

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- She seemed like a happy and devoted mother. But now evidence suggests a Rockland County woman may have killed her 5-year-old son.

CBS 2 has confirmed that Garnett Spears, who was fitted with a feeding tube because of nourishment issues, died in January of sodium poisoning at Westchester Medical Center and that police consider his mother, Lacey, who blogged constantly about the boy's health and welfare, a suspect in his death.

Lacey and Garnett Spears lived the last year of the boy's short life living at the Fellowship Community, an idyllic communal community in Chestnut Ridge, where the mother cared for the elderly and farmed and the boy attended school.

Residents there are now grappling with the unthinkable.

"What went wrong?" Valarie Plausche, a Fellowship Community resident, said to Young. "What would make someone sick enough to hurt their child?"

"I have hopes that it's not true, what people are thinking," said resident Norma Johnson.

Garnett Spears
Garnett Spears (credit: Facebook)

The Westchester Medical Examiner's office last month ruled Garnett's death a homicide, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported. Authorities are considering the possibility that Lacey Spears suffered from Munchausen by Proxy, a psychiatric illness in which a parent sickens a child to gain attention and sympathy, sources told Haskell.

The circumstances of the boy's death are horrible enough, but the fact that his mother called a friend at Fellowship Community and asked that she dispose of Garnett's feeding bag before he died seems to cement her guilt in many minds.

"How did so many people live around that story and none of us knew?" said Kirsten Young, a resident of the community. "What I would like for her is to get whatever help she needs. I don't think she'll ever be able to work in society."

Lacey Spears, 26, has not been charged with a crime to date and is living at her family's home in Kentucky. Her New York attorney says she has done nothing wrong.

"We've been cooperating with the investigation since day one, and they said it was going to take a while," said Matt Upperbrink, Fellowship's assistant director. "They said they wanted to make sure that they have a solid case."

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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