Mother faces homicide charge after daughter dies from salt poisoning

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Kimberly Martines

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A South Carolina mother is accused of killing her 17-month-old daughter by feeding her a teaspoon of salt.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger says Peyton Martines was taken off life support Wednesday afternoon.

Charges against 23-year-old Kimberly Martines of Fingerville have been upgraded to homicide by child abuse.

Solicitor Barry Barnette told local media outlets that Martines fed the toddler salt to try to win back her husband’s affection. The two are separated and Martines wanted him back in her life; prosecutors said she thought having a sick child would accomplish that.

High levels of salt can be toxic to anyone, but young children are especially vulnerable because their bodies are still developing.

Arrest warrants say a pediatrician was concerned in November because Peyton was not gaining weight. Martines ignored the doctor’s referrals to a specialist and an agency that helps babies with developmental delays.

Deputies say a twin sister of the toddler and second sibling are in protective custody.

It wasn’t known if Martines has a lawyer.

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