PROVO — An Elk Ridge couple accused of trying to disguise their newborn baby’s addiction by giving her drugs in the hospital are now facing new child abuse charges.
In addition to charges filed last month, Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and his common-law wife, Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26, are now each charged in 4th District Court with three counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony.
Amended charging documents filed Monday indicate that the couple’s 3-month-old baby tested positive for methamphetamine, heroin and morphine, while two other young children in the home tested positive for methamphetamine.
“The health of the three children has been seriously impaired and all have required ongoing medical care,” the new charging documents say.
The couple were previously charged with distribution of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, a second-degree felony; child endangerment, a third-degree felony; two counts of possession of controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
The couple feared that the baby girl born to them April 9 was born with an opiate dependence, and in order to hide signs of withdrawal, they mixed crushed suboxone pills with water and applied it to the baby’s gums, according to charging documents. Suboxone is a prescription pain medication used for pain management and for addiction treatment.
A monthlong investigation into the couple began June 26 when Wilde attempted to pull items from shelves in a Wal-Mart store and then immediately return them to the store for money, all while carrying the infant girl in a car seat, according Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
As Wilde attempted to flee the store while carrying the car seat, he ran into the sliding glass doors and then a pillar, twice dropping the seat, Cannon said. As bystanders tried to stop Wilde, he allegedly handed the car seat with his child in it to a stranger and ran to his car to escape.
Wilde was arrested soon after. Christenson, who was in the store with her three boys, ages 8, 4 and 2, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Deputies served a search warrant on the house and allegedly found numerous drug and paraphernalia items. Police serving a warrant on the couple’s home July 18 found drug paraphernalia, according to the charges, and both Wilde and Christenson were showing signs of drug use. They tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine and opiates, the charges state.
Christenson is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Wilde has a hearing scheduled for Aug. 22.
Photo Credit: Thomas F McGuire