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Pregnant Woman Tests Positive for Meth, Figures Out Why

Elisha Hessel discovered that her home used to be a meth lab
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2019 12:32 PM CDT
The Hessels are shown in an image from their GoFundMe campaign.   (GoFundMe)

(Newser) – When Tyler and Elisha Hessel had standard prenatal testing done, they were happy to find out the baby they're expecting in January is healthy—but they were shocked to find out Elisha had tested positive for amphetamines. They had recently purchased their Jefferson County, Missouri, home, and after getting it tested, they discovered it was contaminated with unsafe levels of meth. They moved out immediately, according to a GoFundMe campaign started by their family. It turns out authorities got a tip about a possible meth lab at the home in 2013, and ultimately found supplies there to make meth. The county undersheriff, however, tells KSDK there was no evidence of "distribution or manufacturing" at the home. There was no record of prior amphetamine contamination testing being done, and nothing was reported to code enforcement officers.

State law requires a home's history to be disclosed during the home-buying process, but the Hessels only found out about their home's meth history by looking at the county list of property seizures. Per NBC News, the amphetamines had seeped into Hessel's blood; an expert the couple hired said such contaminants can spread through paint, floors, cabinets, and the HVAC system. "After countless visits to the lawyer and conversations with the bank, county, and insurance company, Tyler and Elisha were unable to receive answers as to why their home was sold before it was remediated and never disclosed," the GoFundMe page says. "They were ultimately left with just one choice: remediate the contamination by stripping the house down to the studs and rebuilding." The cost estimate is $100,000, and the couple says insurance won't cover any portion of it. (Read more methamphetamine stories.)

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