Police Accuse Utah Parents of Feeding Opioid Pills to Newborn Baby

Glen Mclaughlin
July 26, 2017

Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26, and hey boyfriend, Colby Glen Wilde, 29, were initially arrested on June 26 in Elk Ridge, Utah, over an attempted robbery at a Walmart, according to KSTU.

Authorities said investigators learned Christenson had been taking heroin and prescription pain medication during pregnancy because her child was born addicted to drugs.

"It makes me sick to my stomach, for a number of reasons", said Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a spokesperson for the Utah County Sheriff's, told CBS News. They also said parents who are drug addicts and give birth to babies already addicted to drugs try to mask the addiction by using prescription drugs like suboxone or methadone and apply it to the gums of an infant. The couple was trying to cover up the girl's addiction, according to police. However, the irony is that Suboxone itself is an opioid and can become addictive.

Infants born to opioid addicts are usually afflicted by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which comes with withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, dehydration, hyperactive reflexes, and inability to gain weight.

The investigation began June 26 when Spanish Fork police responded to a theft at a Wal-Mart.

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that a Walmart incident actually tipped off police about Christenson and Wilde's drug crimes.

Witnesses told law enforcement they saw the suspect take items from a shelf and then return them to customer service as if he had purchased them. He was given a cash card for the items, but as he left the store with his two-month-old daughter, employees confronted him about the purported theft. He responded by running towards the exit while carrying the vehicle seat with his daughter in it. He was holding the infant in a vehicle seat at the time. Witnesses say the infant girl and auto seat rolled over several times. Police say Wilde handed his daughter in the vehicle seat to a stranger, jumped into his auto and sped away. When bystanders also tried to stop him outside the store, he handed the vehicle seat containing the baby to a stranger in the Walmart parking lot and drove off, abandoning the child. According to the Miami Herald, Lacey Christenson and Colby Wilde have been jailed on suspicion and distribution of a controlled substance, child endangerment as well as possession of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia. His wife was also arrested on a prior outstanding warrant. The children were taken into custody by Wilde's oldest son. The infant girl was checked into a local hospital.

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Because the father did not want to separate the children from each other, DCFS approved for him to take custody of the other three children as well.

When police searched the house where the couple lived with the four children, they found drug paraphernalia scattered everywhere.

All four children tested positive for methamphetamine, the Sheriff's Office said.

A drug test showed the couple's biological sons had methamphetamine in their systems, while their infant daughter tested positive for methamphetamine, heroin and morphine.

By July 5, both were released on bail.

Authorities learned Wilde and Christenson were using drugs again after they were released. Acting on a tip, police visited their house on July 18 with a search warrant, only to find Wilde smoking heroin.

Utah County Sheriffs said informants told officers that the parents of babies born with an addiction use this method to hide it from hospital staff.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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