Couple accused in theft of placenta, umbilical cord from Caldwell hospital

A man and woman have been arrested regarding the theft of a placenta and umbilical cord from the Caldwell hospital where the woman’s daughter had just given birth, according to KIVI-TV.

According to a Caldwell police report, Alexis Buller gave birth on July 3, and after the birth, hospital staff went back into the room to recover the placenta, umbilical cord and vials of blood, but they were all missing. The report states that during labor and delivery, staff at the hospital was concerned that the mother was using drugs, so the doctor ordered the placenta, umbilical cord and cord blood be sent for testing.

Police said Buller’s mother, Rhiannon Stoneham, was seen on surveillance camera taking the placenta and later told police that she was afraid because she believed a friend had “spiked her daughter’s drink” with methamphetamine when her daughter went over to buy marijuana from the friend. Stoneham was worried the baby would be taken away, according to the police report.

Stoneham told police that she was driven to a fast-food restaurant, where she threw a black trash bag containing the placenta and umbilical cord into the dumpster behind the business, KIVI-TV reported.

Stoneham was arrested on suspicion of felony destruction of evidence, and her husband, Kevin Stoneham, was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting in the destruction of evidence.