Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

Geneva Matthews
July 25, 2017

A couple have been arrested and thrown into jail in the USA state of Utah after allegedly giving their baby daughter drugs just hours after she was born.

While British boy Charlie Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gates are heartbroken that they have to say goodbye to their absolute warrior son from battling a terminal disease, a couple from Utah, 26-year-old Lacey Christenson and 29-year-old Colby Wilde, however have displayed a different side of parenting.

Christenson apparently used both heroin and prescription drugs frequently during her pregnancy and in turn, she gave birth to an infant with drug addiction. If not for a subsequent arrest of the couple for attempting to scam a Walmart in Elk Ridge, Utah, authorities would not have learned of their actions at the hospital. He ran into the store's doors, which cause the vehicle seat to drop to the ground and roll over. Wilde picked up the auto seat and dropped it again and "Handed the vehicle seat and the child to a stranger and then got in the vehicle and took off".

Authorities arrested Wilde on several charges and Christenson for an outstanding warrant.

Christenson was waiting inside the Walmart with their two sons and another son she had from a previous relationship.

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.

All four children were placed in the care of the oldest child's biological father, according to KUTV.

During the widening investigation, the infant was taken to a hospital where it tested positive for methamphetamine, heroin, and morphine. They said when the nurses became distracted, they rubbed crushed-up Suboxone all over the infant's gums so that she wouldn't go into drug withdrawal.

The couple faces charges of distribution of a controlled substance in a drug free zone, endangerment of a child, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of use of heroin and methamphetamine.

Babies are being born suffering from drug addiction withdrawals at a historic pace, increasing five-fold across the US between 2003 and 2012.

Authorities said a Walmart robbery is what led them to the parents and tipped them off about the drug crimes. The couple also tried to cover up their daughter's addiction to drugs, reports said Sunday. 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.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office spoke about the case.

Authorities said the two younger boys along with the newborn girl tested positive for methamphetamine. That's when police were called to a local Wal-Mart after Wilde was accused of stealing goods there and returning them for cash.

Police obtained a warrant to search the home, where they found paraphernalia scattered throughout the house. She was then released on July 5, on a $7,500 bond. Their bail was set at $10,000, and can only be paid in cash. Christenson and Wilde told police that friends had told them it was a good way to hide drug withdrawal symptoms in a baby.

"While the hospital does everything possible to keep newborns safe, no assumptions are made about a mother's personal history".

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