BARNHART, Mo. - A Missouri couple who are expecting a baby girl now face financial difficulties after the mother learned through a routine blood test that she has amphetamines in her system and it’s because of their new home.
Tyler and Elisha Hessel dreamed of having a home and raising a family. The couple had been trying to have children for three years, according to KARE 11.
They bought their home in 2018 and learned they were expecting in April 2019.
At six weeks, Elisha went in for her routine check-ups. That’s when doctors discovered amphetamines in her system.
“When they called me, I didn’t know what that meant. So I asked the nurse if that meant like, drugs in general,” she told KARE 11. “She basically just said ‘yes’ and asked me if could explain that.”
Elisha said she and her husband have never been around meth nor do they have a criminal history. Luckily, their baby girl appears to be perfectly healthy and she’s due in January 2020.
“So far everything looks good for our baby girl. She is growing right on track and so far, to our knowledge, all of her scans look normal and she has a strong heartbeat,” Elisha said.
Through a process of elimination, they discovered their home had a history with methamphetamines, according to their GoFundMe page.
The same day Elisha got the results, she said she and Tyler moved out of the home and left all of the contaminated items behind.
Elisha told KARE 11 that she and her husband learned about their home’s history after speaking with neighbors and getting hints about what happened there before they bought it.
She also told KARE 11 that she bought a testing kit online and found unsafe levels of amphetamines in the home. Later, the Hessels learned their home was on a meth lab seizures list for their county in 2013.
According to a police report obtained by KARE 11, authorities detained a man after receiving a tip about a possible meth lab in October 2013. Police found a burned barrel in the backyard that contained items often used to make methamphetamines.
Missouri state law requires a realtor or owner to disclose details about a home, such as a drug lab or murder, if they know about it. Yet, the Hessels were told nothing.
The couple spoke with a lawyer and had conversations with the bank, county and insurance company but learned the person they bought the home from wouldn’t face any penalties. They also were left with one option – remediate the home themselves with no help from their insurance company.
The cost of remediating the home is about $100,000, according to their GoFundMe page, and they’ve stripped the place down to the foundation.
Another problem the couple faces is that since Elisha tested positive for methamphetamines, the state knows about it. While her levels have been clean since that test, her baby will still be tested when she’s born.
If there are detectable levels, the state’s social services department will get involved, according to KARE 11.
The Hessel’s extended family set up a GoFundMe account to help them save their home.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.