Tyler and Elisha Hessel found out earlier this year they were expecting their first child. The couple from Missouri was at first elated, but after receiving shocking news from their doctor, their world was turned upside down. The story is recounted on their GoFundMe page.
The Hessels went to the doctor for standard tests performed in the beginning of a pregnancy. Elisha Hessel seemed fine, but the doctor found “something out of the ordinary” for her unborn child: The baby tested positive for amphetamines.
Hessel had not taken any sort of amphetamines herself, so through the process of elimination the couple decided to have their house tested for traces of the drugs.
She said neighbors had previously dropped hints about the house’s past inhabitants. “Just through normal conversations as we got to know them a little better they said they were so happy to finally have ‘normal’ people move in next door,” she told CBS News. “They had also mentioned that the police were there for a possible drug bust type situation.”
These comments from her neighbors were enough for Hessel to purchase an at-home drug testing kit and use it on her home. “After that test showed positive results, we contacted the company for the full proper testing,” she said. The company confirmed the house had meth in it.
Most states require home sellers to disclose to buyers the material defects in their property, according to Nolo Press, a database of legal articles. Missouri specifically requires sellers to disclose if their property was used as a site for methamphetamine production.
The Hessels never received this required written disclosure prior to buying the house. After the house tested positive for meth, Elisha decided to dig deeper and found the property listed on the Jefferson County database for meth seizures, she told CBS News.
“We have moved out and really do not know exactly what to do at this point,” Hessel told CBS News. She said the insurance company denied their claim and their attorney says the best option is to pursue the insurance company to cover the remediation of the home.
According to the GoFundMe page, it would cost them over $100,000 to gut the house and rebuild to eliminate any drug contamination. A relative created the fundraising page to help ease the financial burden.
On top of all of that, stress of the situation led Elisha Hessel to leave a new job she was training for, so her income has been significantly impacted, she told CBS News.
The couple says all they want is to get their house back into a safe condition for their growing family. Their baby girl is due in January 2020 and despite testing positive for meth, she “is right on track, growing healthy and her scans all look good at this time,” Hessel said.
She says the experience has put her through a “big roller coaster of emotions and stress,” and she wanted to share her story to let others know things like this can happen to anyone.