Parents had no clue they were living in a former meth lab; now unborn baby has tested positive for meth

National News

MISSOURI (NBC NEWS) — Elisha Hessel was doing everything the right way.

She and her husband had been trying to have a child for three years. They were living in a dream home that looked like new. When she got pregnant, she went in for the recommended blood tests.

A nurse found amphetamines in Hessel’s blood.

“When they called me, I didn’t know what that meant. So, I asked the nurse if that meant like, drugs in general,” Hessel said. “She basically just said ‘yes’ and asked me if I could explain that.”

Hessel didn’t have an explanation.

Elisha and her husband Tyler said they’ve never been around meth. They have no criminal history of drug use. Then they discovered that the home’s history was the problem.

“Through speaking with neighbors and kind of getting hints here and there,” said Hessel. “I went ahead and bought a test over the internet and tested it myself and it did come back with unsafe levels in the home.”

In Missouri, a seller who knows that a home once had a drug lab in it is required to tell the buyer. Nobody told the Hessels. They found the address on Jefferson County’s list of 2013 meth lab seizures.

Today, the home is abandoned. More testing showed that the home’s ventilation system is heavily contaminated with methamphetamine and meth-making residue. The perfect “little safari” nursery that Elisha planned for her baby girl is just too dangerous.

Elisha Hessel knew that every house has a history when they bought their Jefferson County home. Six years ago, the four-bedroom house was living a different life.

On Oct. 3, 2013, police responded to a tip at the home about a possible meth lab. According to a police report, officers said a man ran to the backyard as soon as he saw the officers. Police found a burned barrel in the backyard when they apprehended the man. The barrel was full of empty allergy pill boxes, empty drain opener and camp fuel bottles and other supplies often used to make meth.

Nobody in the home admitted to making meth. Police said one resident admitted to smoking it. A lab report of the items police found identified some substances as methamphetamine.

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