Utah Parents Allegedly Fed Heroin-Addicted Newborn Drugs to Mask Her Withdrawal Symptoms
This article originally appeared on People.com.
Utah authorities have arrested a mother and father for allegedly giving their newborn daughter — who was born addicted to heroin — more drugs on the day she was born so she wouldn’t show withdrawal symptoms while in the hospital, PEOPLE confirms.
Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26, and the baby’s father, 29-year-old Colby Glen Wilde, are behind bars on charges of child endangerment, drug distribution and possession. $10,000 cash bail has been set for both parents.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Christenson was allegedly “heavily using heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy.”
Because they knew their daughter would be born an addict, Christenson and Wilde later 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,” the sheriff’s office claimed in a statement.
Christenson allegedly admitted that she crushed up prescription pain pills which Wilde administered to the infant.
The sheriff’s statement claims that Wilde told detectives he applied some of the crushed Suboxone to their child’s gums soon after she was born on April 9 — after nurses and other medical staff had left their room.
The medicine, often prescribed to recovery addicts, was found by investigators during an initial search of the couple’s home on June 28. The baby tested positive for heroin and morphine, authorities said.
It was unclear Monday if either suspect has been arraigned or entered pleas to the charges against them. PEOPLE was also not immediately able to determine if they have retained attorneys who could comment on their behalf.
“I don’t have any doubt that Colby and Lacy love their kids,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told local TV station KSTU.
“They’re addicts right now with serious addiction problems, and they’re not in a good place to be taking care of themselves even, let alone anybody else,” Cannon said.
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Authorities say the parents have a checkered record with law enforcement in the few weeks since first crossing their path on June 26. That’s when police were called to a local Wal-Mart after Wilde was accused of stealing goods there and returning them for cash.
Wilde fled the scene — after dropping a car seat holding his infant child multiple times — but was arrested a short time later, according to police, who charged him with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of heroin and methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without insurance, theft and child abuse.
Christenson, who was at the store with Wilde and her four kids, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Investigators contacted the state’s Division of Child and Family Services and placed the children in the custody of the oldest boy’s father.
Christenson and Wilde faced more charges after police were contacted by a woman on June 28 who reported allegedly finding drug paraphernalia around their home, which detectives said they confirmed after a search of the residence.
Both Christenson and Wilde were released from custody by July 5, but detectives continued to investigate the couple and soon learned they were allegedly using drugs again.
Another search warrant was executed on July 18, and police allegedly found Wilde smoking heroin as they busted down the door.
Authorities also eventually learned the couple’s two boys and infant daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.