UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Parents of a baby girl are in jail after allegedly giving their infant opioids on the day she was born, police in Utah said.
Police said a Walmart robbery led them to the parents and tipped them off about the drug crimes, PIX11 sister station Fox13 Salt Lake City reports. The pair faces child engagement and drug charges.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Spanish Fork police were called to a robbery at a Walmart on June 26.
Walmart employees said the culprit, later identified as 29-year-old Colby Glen Wilde, went into the store with his 2-month-old daughter. Witnesses told authorities they saw the man take items from a shelf and then return them to customer service as if he had purchased them.
He was given cash for the items and left the store, then employees confronted him about the alleged theft. Deputies said Wilde ran with his daughter and car seat in tow.
He slammed into the sliding doors, dropping his daughter in the car seat, which rolled several times.
Wilde grabbed the car seat and ran out another door, hitting a pillar and dropping his daughter again, officials said.
As witnesses tried to stop him, Wilde handed the car seat and his newborn to a stranger, ran to his car and sped away, officials said.
A deputy caught up to Wilde in a nearby parking lot and took him into custody for DUI, heroin, meth, drug paraphernalia and driving without insurance.
Spanish Fork Police later added felony child abuse and theft charges.
Wilde’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Lacey Dawn Christenson, was in the Walmart with Wilde. Authorities said Christenson had her other three children with her, 2-, 4- and 8-year-old boys. She was arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail on an outstanding warrant.
Spanish Fork Police took custody of the children and the infant girl was evaluated at a hospital.
Officials with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services contacted the oldest boy’s father who took custody of that child. The father did not want to separate the children from each other and DCFS approved him to take the other three children as well.
Wilde and Christenson are the parents of the other three children.
On June 28, a woman who went to care for the pets at the couple’s home found drug paraphernalia and called authorities. Deputies found drugs and paraphernalia throughout the home, including next to a bassinet and a child’s sippy cup.
One of the drugs found was Suboxone, a prescription pain medication also used for addiction treatment.
Authorities learned the two younger boys and the infant girl tested positive for methamphetamine. The infant also tested positive for heroin and morphine.
Deputies added four counts of child endangerment for Wilde and Christenson.
Christenson was released from jail for her warrant on June 28. Wilde was released from jail July 5 after posting a $7,500 bond.
Authorities learned Wilde and Christenson were using drugs again after they were released. The investigation also revealed Christenson was heavily using heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy.
Because of that, her baby girl was born in April already addicted to drugs.
The parents later admitted to police that Wilde applied some of the crushed Suboxone pills to the infant’s gums just after she was born to “mask signs of addiction from hospital staff.”
Wilde and Christenson were arrested again on July 18 and booked on felony charges including distribution of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, possession of heroin and meth, endangerment of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Cash-only bail for Wilde and Christenson has been set at $10,000.