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WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — A Wheat Ridge police officer found an 11-week-old baby covered in drug residue on the floorboard of a vehicle while investigating a theft Monday evening.

In a Facebook post, the Wheat Ridge Police Department said a King Soopers employee flagged down an officer who was on routine patrol near the business. The employee reported a theft, and pointed the officer in the direction of the suspect’s vehicle.

The suspect opened her trunk and retrieved the stolen items, according to Wheat Ridge police.

As the officer walked around the vehicle, he “was overcome by the odor of drugs,” the department said. He spotted a car seat, but did not see a child.

The officer found an 11-week-old baby on the front passenger seat floorboard, covered in drug residue and blankets, Wheat Ridge police said.

The child was taken to the hospital, and Child Protective Services placed her in the custody of a relative, Wheat Ridge police said.

Authorities found a “significant amount” of fentanyl pills and paraphernalia in the vehicle, according to Wheat Ridge PD. The suspect was taken to the Jefferson County Jail for theft, felony drug possession and child abuse.

Two other adult passengers in the vehicle were cited.

The department thanked the King Soopers employee who reported the theft, saying “oftentimes a seemingly less serious offense reveals a more serious crime.”

“The employee’s willingness to contact one of our officers may have saved a child’s life,” Wheat Ridge PD said.

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