Couple arrested in Utah for administering drugs to their newborn


"It makes me sick to my stomach, for a number of reasons", said Utah County Sheriff's Sergeant Spencer Cannon, KUTV reported.

"(Christenson and Wilde) admitted that, after their daughter was born on April 9, later that same day, Wilde applied some of the crushed Suboxone pills to the infant's gums while nurses and other medical staff were out of the room", the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Police say this is not their first contact with the couple. Buprenorphine is an partial opioid, meaning it can "block pain receptors and induce a mild euphoria", according to American Addictions Centers.

Wilde and Christenson told police they learned from other friends that the drug can be crushed and used to hide their baby's withdrawal symptoms.

But the story of how police came to know about the couple's drug-addicted baby starts with a robbery that happened about a month ago.

The couple continued to give the drug to their daughter, until on June 26, Wilde was arrested after attempting to steal some groceries at a Walmart. Rather than check out, he marched directly across the store to customer service, where he returned the items "as if he had purchased them", police said. He responded by running towards the exit while carrying the vehicle seat with his daughter in it. He failed to negotiate the sliding doors and ran into them, dropping the vehicle seat and his daughter. Witnesses say the infant girl and auto seat rolled over several times. Wilde dropped the auto seat twice before giving it, and his daughter, to strangers while trying to escape. When he ran from Walmart, he handed the vehicle seat holding his baby daughter to a stranger.

Wilde was arrested and taken into custody on for DUI, as well as for meth, heroin and drug paraphernalia. Later on, he was hit with felony child abuse and theft charges.

Christenson, Wilde's common-law wife, was in the store during the incident.

The children were tested, and the two younger boys - the couple's biological sons - tested positive for methamphetamine, according to police. She was also arrested and booked for an outstanding warrant.

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Investigators contacted the state's Division of Child and Family Services and placed the children in the custody of the oldest boy's father. The infant girl was evaluated at a local hospital.

The father did not want to separate the children from each other and DCFS approved him to take the other three children as well. She told deputies that she found numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

All four children tested positive for methamphetamine, the Sheriff's Office said.

When put under tests, the new born tested positive for methamphetamine, heroin and morphine. Wilde was released from jail on July 5 after posting a $7,500.00 bond. After their release, investigators learned the two may be doing drugs again so they drew up another warrant.

A later search of their home found a trove of illegal substances, police said.

While at the house to serve the couple on July 18, authorities found Wilde smoking heroin.

Police also listed theft and child abuse as possible charges.

Christenson and Wilde are facing four counts each of child endangerment and felony drugs charges.

Cash-only bail for Wilde and Christenson has been set at $10,000.