A 23-year-old mother has been charged with murder after allegedly killing her daughter by feeding her a teaspoon of salt in order to get her husband’s attention, several news outlets reported.
Kimberly Martinez was arrested after 17-month-old Peyton died in South Carolina on Wednesday. She had been admitted to hospital on Sunday when she started suffering seizures.
Martinez told authorities that “She basically did that to try and get her husband’s attention — to get him back into her life, but failed.”
The toddler had been on life support before she died but doctors had already declared her brain-dead.
Young children are particularly at risk of salt poisoning (hypernatremia) because their kidneys are not fully developed.
Peyton’s family paid tribute to her in a statement saying:
“She never cried and was a silly baby making everyone laugh. You could not help but smile when you was around her. She was a little diva who loved her nails done and her favorite thing ever was Minnie Mouse.”
Martinez could be jailed for 20 years if she is found guilty of homicide by child abuse.