Mother who killed her 17-month-old baby with salt, to win back her estranged husband, is sentenced to 30 years

Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors realized that Kimberley Martines' 17-month-old daughter suffered seizures and a fever from acute salt poisoning.


                            Mother who killed her 17-month-old baby with salt, to win back her estranged husband, is sentenced to 30 years

A South Carolina mother has been sentenced to 30 years in jail after she killed her baby by feeding her a fatal amount of salt in order to win back her estranged husband. Kimberly Martines' 17-month-daughter, Peyton, was rushed to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in July 2016 after she made her daughter consume a deadly amount of salt, reported Daily Mail.

Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors realized that Peyton suffered seizures and a fever from acute salt poisoning. The poisoning eventually led to shutting down the baby's brain and the doctors had to place her on life support. She was eventually taken off the life support but unfortunately could not survive. 

Kimberly Martines mugshot (SCSO)
Kimberly Martines mugshot (SCSO)

Peyton died five days later on August 5. When the case was investigated by the police, Kimberly initially told the cops that Peyton and her twin sister got into a bag of salt that had been left out in the house, as reported by Fox Carolina. However, the police realized that Kimberly was lying to them after her four-year-old son came forward to confess to the detectives that he saw his mom feeding the salt to the baby. 

The kid also described how the bag of salt looked like. The authorities then searched Kimberly's house and found the bag of salt, that was described by her son, under the sofa. Kimberly eventually admitted to feeding her daughter the excess salt and revealed that she did so to "get her husband back into her life" after they separated. 

Kimberly arrested for killing her daughter (Fox Carolina)
Kimberly arrested for killing her daughter (Fox Carolina)

According to reports, Kimberly told the cops that she poisoned Peyton because she was the closest in proximity to her at the time. Peyton's family also gave a statement, remembering the toddler. "Peyton was the most beautiful, happiest, loving baby ever. She never cried and was a silly baby making everyone laugh," read the statement. "You could not help but smile when you were around her. She was a little diva who loved her nails done and her favorite thing ever was Minnie Mouse... Her presence will always be with us..."

Peyton died from hypernatremia or salt poisoning which occurs when too much amount of salt is present in the bloodstream. This can also result in torn blood vessels as the cells are forced out of their normal location. At the same time, the imbalance of electrolytes can also result in fluid buildup in the lungs, as well as seizures and kidney damage. 

Hypernatremia usually occurs when people don't drink enough water. According to  World Action on Salt and Health, infants are susceptible to this because their kidneys are too immature to process any added salt in their foods. Various sites and studies also suggest that salt should never be added to any food that has been cooked for babies.

Kimberly's older child, as well as the baby girl's twin sister, were both placed in protective custody with the Department of Social Services.