Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

Jerome Frank
July 25, 2017

The Sheriff's Office said it learned that Christenson had been taking heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, which caused her baby to be drug dependent. The mom is now accused of giving Suboxone to her infant daughter in April to mask the baby's heroin withdrawal.

Detectives also learned that while Christenson was still in the hospital after giving birth, she and Wilde crushed up Suboxone - a prescription pain medication used for pain management and for addiction treatment - and rubbed it on the newborn's gums in an effort to hide signs of drug addiction from hospital staffers, according to Cannon. They did it when hospital staffers were not looking. The couple was trying to cover up the girl's addiction, according to police.

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. Employees told police that Wilde entered the store with his 2-month-old daughter. When confronted Wilde ran toward the exit, carrying the auto seat with his daughter in it.

Security officers tried to stop as he walked out, but Wilde ran out of the store so quickly that smacked into the exit doors, dropping his infant in her auto seat. He dropped his daughter a second time after he ran into another door. But Wilde dropped his daughter again, police say, after he ran past a pillar and hit the auto seat against the pillar.

Police blocked Wilde off as he tried to drive away, took him into custody, and charged him with driving without insurance, DUI, child abuse, possession of heroin and methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Christenson's two other children - aged two and four - also tested positive for methamphetamine, police added. His live-in lover was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation.

Police said they obtained a search warrant on June 28 and found drug paraphernalia in many areas of the home, including next to a baby bassinet and a child's sippy cup.

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Authorities said that a Walmart theft is what led them to Christenson and Wilde. The infant girl was evaluated at a local hospital.

The newborn tested positive for meth, heroin and morphine, and was taken to the hospital. The father didn't want to separate the boy from his siblings, so he took the other children into his custody as well.

Christenson was inside Walmart with Wilde when the theft occurred.

The couple also continued to use drugs after their initial release from jail and were arrested again, this time on charges of distribution of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, possession of heroin and meth, endangerment of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia, per KUTV. The woman went to their house, found drug paraphernalia and called police, according to Cannon. When a mother does not disclose a history of drug use and her baby has no signs or symptoms of difficulty, then the hospital proceeds with its established care processes.

"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.

Authorities said the 26-year-old Lacey Dawn Christenson, his wife, and the child's mother was also in Walmart along with their other 3 children.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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