A Missouri family found out their home had once been a meth lab after their unborn baby tested positive for the drug, ABC News reports. Now the family’s insurance company is refusing to cover the cost of bringing the house back up to code, and the family is stuck with the bill.
Missouri is one of several states that require sellers to disclose “material defects” in a property to potential buyers. Furthermore, the Show-Me State specifically requires that sellers disclose if a home had previously been used as a meth lab. However, Tyler and Elisha Hessel say they were not made aware of this when they purchased their home in Jefferson County, southwest of St. Louis.
Their new neighbors spoke vaguely of the house having possibly been the site of untoward goings-on. Some mentioned they were glad to have “normal” people in the house. Others said that the police had been there for a “drug bust-type situation.”
When Elisha got pregnant, she learned the hard way that she should have listened to her neighbors.
During a routine prenatal visit, mother and unborn baby were both tested for drugs, as is routine. Later, the baby tested positive for methamphetamine. Elisha, who had never done meth in her life, began to suspect that her house had something to do with it.
She purchased an in-home drug-testing kit and, when it showed positive for meth, she hired a professional lab to test her home. As reported, the professionals confirmed her suspicions — the house had once been used as a meth lab. Looking further, she found her address listed on Jefferson County’s database of meth seizures.
Elisha says that bringing her house back up to being inhabitable would require completely gutting it, at a cost of $100,000. Unfortunately for the family, their insurance company is not willing to cover the cost. Their attorney says that their best option is to try to get the insurance company to pay.
In the meantime, the family has reportedly moved out and is stuck with a home they can’t live in. What’s more, the stress of the situation has caused Elisha to leave her job, making things even harder on the family.
Despite all of this, Elisha says their unborn baby girl is “on the right track” despite having tested positive for meth.
In the meantime, a relative has started a GoFundMe account to try to raise $100,000 to repair the family’s home. As of this writing, the crowdfunding effort has raised just over $1,100.