Kimberly Martines
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
August 4, 2016 6:09 PM EDT

A South Carolina mother is charged with homicide by child abuse for allegedly causing her infant’s death by salt poisoning – by feeding her infant a teaspoon of salt, PEOPLE confirms.

Kimberly Nicole Martines, 23, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse in the death of her 17-month-old daughter, Peyton, who suffered acute intoxication of salt. The child allegedly was rushed to the hospital on Sunday and died Wednesday after being placed on life support, according to an indictment obtained by PEOPLE.

Medical staff alerted authorities of the amount of salt in Peyton’s system, and further investigation allegedly revealed that Martines had fed the baby a teaspoon of salt.

Martines allegedly told authorities she brought the baby to the hospital when she was woken up by her crying, the indictment states. She allegedly said the baby was hot and appeared to be having seizures, and said she called EMS immediately, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, in November 2015, the baby’s pediatrician was concerned with her slow weight gain and developmental delays. Martines was referred to two other doctors, but she allegedly cancelled the first appointment with one doctor and never showed up to the second.

Martines has two other children who currently in the care of the Department of Social Services.

If convicted, Martines could serve 20 years to life, according to the indictment. It was not known whether or not Martines had an attorney at press time. She has not yet entered a plea.

This article originally appeared on

Contact us at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories