Canyon County

Charges dismissed against couple accused of placenta theft

Felony charges against a couple in Canyon County were dismissed Tuesday after they were accused of stealing a placenta from a Caldwell hospital to hide evidence.

Police accused Rhiannon Stoneham of taking the placenta from her daughter’s newborn baby on July 3, after the birth of the baby. Police alleged she took 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 to buy marijuana.

Stoneham was worried the baby would be taken away if the placenta tested positive for drugs, so she allegedly threw a trash bag containing the placenta and umbilical cord into the dumpster behind a fast-food restaurant.

Her husband, Kevin Stoneham, was also arrested on suspicion of destruction of evidence because he drove Rhiannon Stoneham.

Both of the Stonehams’ charges were dismissed and the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office would not comment on whether they planned to charge the pair with misdemeanors.

The judge couldn’t find a felony based on the information presented at the preliminary hearing, Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker said.

“The issue was whether or not the defendants knew or had knowledge that stealing the placenta would mean that they were hiding evidence in a felony,” Decker wrote in an email to the Statesman. “The judge couldn’t find that (the Stonehams) did.”