Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Utah couple drugged their opioid-addicted baby to mask withdrawal symptoms

Colby Glen Wilde 29 and Lacey Dawn Christenson 26 Colby Glen Wilde 29 and Lacey Dawn Christenson 26
Connie Andrews | 26 July, 2017, 00:49

The 29-year-old man hurriedly grabbed his daughter and ran out another door, but hit a pillar and dropped his daughter again.

Witnesses did try to stop Wilde. He ran with her baby daughter to avoid getting caught, but eventually, he handed the baby to a stranger and drove away in his vehicle.

A press release from the Utah County Sheriff's Office stated that the parents were attempting to cover up the fact that the child was born addicted to drugs.

Wilde was arrested and taken into custody on for DUI, as well as for meth, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Felony child abuse and theft charges were later added on.

His 26-year-old common law wife Christenson waited inside the store with their two sons and one son she had from a previous relationship.

Eventually, authorities learned that the infant and the two younger boys, ages four and two, were given drugs.

Officials with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services contacted the oldest boy's father who took custody of that child. The parents of the other three children are Wilde and Christenson.

They are now being held in a county jail on a $10,000 cash bail.

The couple was busted in June when authorities searched their home in an unrelated case. That's when she noticed drug paraphernalia, and she notified the police.

Deputies served a search warrant on the house and found numerous drug and paraphernalia items, he said.

Drug addiction is now the second leading cause for removal from parental custody, following child neglect, which social workers note is often exacerbated by drug use in the home. Also lying around was Suboxone, some of it in pill form, the rest of it crushed.

The pair also face charges of use of heroin and methamphetamine and endangerment of a child. Wilde was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both tested positive for methamphetamine and opiates.

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

The boys, including the infant, tested positive for meth. Heroin and morphine were also found in the baby's system.

Christenson was released from jail for her warrant on June 28. She was then released on July 5, on a $7,500 bond.

The investigation into Christenson and Wilde began June 26 when police in Spanish Fork were called to Walmart, where employees say they saw Wilde take several items from the store's shelves and take them to customer service, returning them for a cash card.

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

Because of that, her baby girl was born April 9 already dependent on the drugs.

This resulted in their daughter having a drug addiction from the moment she was born, which the parents allegedly concealed by crushing pills of Suboxone-a painkiller used to treat opioid withdrawal-and rubbing the powder on their baby's gums while hospital staff were out of the room. "[They] told investigators they talked to friends about how to mask signs of drug dependence in an infant, and that they discussed this issue with each other".

Christenson admitted to investigators that he crushed the Suboxone and gave it to their daughter, police said.

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