Utah County parents arrested for giving newborn meth, heroin, morphine, police say
(KUTV) Two Utah County parents in jail after police say they gave their newborn daughter drugs the day she was born. Police said they the couple hope to cover up that the baby was born addicted to drugs.
Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26, both of Elk Ridge, Utah, face drug distribution and child endangerment charges, according to Utah County Sherrif's spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Investigators learned Christenson had been heavily using heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy. Because of that, her child, born on April 9, was born addicted to drugs. A number of informants told investigators that parents of drug addicted babies will sometimes take either Suboxone or methadone, crush it up, then, after moistening a finger, dip that finger into the crushed drugs, and apply it to the mouth or gums of the infant in an effort to mask signs of addiction from hospital staff.
Depututies interviewed Wilde and Christenson and the couple admitted on April 9. After their daughter's birth the same day, Wilde applied some of the crushed Suboxone pills to the infant’s gums while nurses and other medical staff were out of the room.
The couple learned about the cover-up option from friends and discussed doing it with each other. Christenson admitted to investigators that the crushed Suboxone, found in their home on June 28, was the substance used to given to their daughter.
Police say the fist offense was on June 26, around 3 p.m. when police responded to a theft in progress at a Walmart in Spanish Fork. Wilde entered the store with his 2-month-old daughter in a car seat in a shopping cart, according to Walmart employees.
Employees said Wilde took items from the shelf and walked right to customer service and returned the items for a cash refund, as if he had purchased them. Customer service gave Wilde a cash card for the stolen items. When he left the store he was approached by loss prevention employees.
He took off running with his daughter, but couldn't time the sliding doors correctly and ran into the exit doors, dropping the car seat which rolled several times with his daughter inside, according to police. He picked up the car seat and eventually tried to run out a different door.
He passed a pillar by the door and the car seat hit the pillar, causing Wilde to drop the car seat with his daughter again. A number of bystanders attempted to stop Wilde. He responded by handing the car seat, with his baby inside, to a stranger, ran to his car and drove away.
Later, a sheriff's deputy in the area spotted Wilde driving away from the area and stopped him in the parking lot. The officer arrested Wilde and booked him into the Utah County Jail for suspicion of DUI, possession of heroin and methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and having no insurance. While he was in jail, Spanish Fork police added child abuse and theft, as potential charges.
Wilde’s common-law wife, Christenson, was in the store during the incident. She had her other three children, boys ages 8, 4, and 2, with her. She was arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail for an outstanding warrant.
Spanish Fork police contacted officials with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, or DCFS, and it custody of the children. The infant girl was checked at a local hospital. DCFS officials contacted the oldest boy’s father who took custody of him. The father did not want to separate the children from each other and DCFS approved him to not only take his son, but to take the other three children as well. The parents of the other three children are Colby Wilde and Lacey Christenson.
Two days later, while Wilde and Christenson were in jail, a woman who was asked to care for pets at the couple's home, contacted police. She told deputies when she arrived she found a number of drug paraphernalia items. Deputies got a warrant to search the home and found drug paraphernalia in many different areas of the home including next to a baby bassinet and a child’s sippy cup.
Investigators also found Suboxone, a prescription pain medication used for pain management and for addiction treatment. The medication was found in pills form crushed up. Since all four children, who had been living in the home, could be in dangerous proximity to the paraphernalia and prescription pills, officers added four counts each of child endangerment for Wilde and Christenson, a third-degree felony.
Wilde was booked with a count of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Deputies continued to investigate the case for several more weeks. DCFS told the officer the two younger boys and the infant girl all tested positive for methamphetamine. The infant also tested positive for heroin and morphine. Christenson was released from jail for her warrant June 28. Wilde was released from jail on July 5 after posting a $7,500 bond.
Investigator's learned Wilde and Christenson were using drugs again and authorities obtained another search warrant for the house in Elk Ridge. When investigators served the new search warrant they caught Wilde smoking heroin.
Following service of the search warrant on July 18, Wilde and Christenson were arrested and booked into jail.
Investigators obtained warrants to collect blood and urine samples from them at the jail. Preliminary urine tests came back positive for methamphetamine and opiates. Because they administered drugs to the newborn child they were booked for distribution of a controlled substance in a drug free zone, a first-degree felony.
They were both also booked for possession of use of heroin and methamphetamine, endangerment of a child, a third-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bail for Wilde and Christenson has been set at $10,000, cash only.