On Wednesday afternoon, August 3, Peyton Martines, 17 months old, died at Spartanburg Medical Center shortly after being taken off life support after being declared brain dead. Her mother, Kimberly Nicole Martines, age 23, had called 911 on Sunday because the child was having seizures, screaming, and had a high fever. Peyton was then taken to the Medical Center. Staff at the hospital determined on Monday that Peyton had an acute case of salt poisoning.
The incident report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office states that it is investigating the death. Coroner Rusty Clevenger of the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office stated that they will use medical information, witnesses statements, an autopsy, toxicology testing, and special extensive tests to document what happened to this child.
Kimberly admitted that she had given the child a teaspoon of salt in an effort to get her husband to return after they had separated. She wanted to get her husband’s attention and get him back in her life.
In November, 2015, the child’s pediatrician was concerned with her developmental delays and poor weight gain, referred her to a specialist, but the mother and baby did not show up for the appointment. He had also referred BabyNet, a state program that helps babies with developmental delays.
Kimberly is being charged with the felony of homicide by child abuse. Pursuant to South Carolina law, a person found guilty or pleads guilty to this charge may be imprisoned for life but not less than a term of 20 years. Kimberly Martines is being held with no bond at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. Peyton’s older sibling and her twin sister are in protective custody.