Four young children were placed into the custody of Child Protective Services after police said they found a meth lab in a Bloomington, Ind., home Wednesday.
Joshua Scroggins, 27, and Misty Chambers, 21, remain in custody at the Monroe County Jail. The couple is facing multiple charges for not only making meth, but exposing it to their four children, ranging from five months to four years old. Dale McCutchen, 29, of Bloomington was also charged with visiting a common nuisance.
Officers with Indiana State Police responded to the home in the 1000 block of Nort Summitt Street at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday. Upon arrival, police said they found an active methamphetamine laboratory.
The officers removed the hazardous chemicals, including sodium hydroxide lye, organic solvents such as starting fluid, ammonium nitrate, lithium, muriatic acid, pseudoephedrine and sulfuric acid.
Scroggins and Chambers face charges of manufacturing methamphetamine in a government housing project, possession of precursors with intent to manufacture meth, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of meth, neglect of a dependent and possession of paraphernalia.
The duplex is just a few feet away from the Bloomington Housing Authority and a Girls and Boys club, which takes care of 30 kids every day.
Delta Monroe’s grandchildren walk by the house while on their way to school.
“It’s very dangerous. It could have blown up,” she said.
Indiana State Police said this is part of a bigger issue in the state. The ISP Meth Task Force deals cases with meth labs and children too often. It’s a serious health and safety risk for anyone, but especially worse for children since their lungs are not fully developed until the age of 7.
“You never really get hardened to that. You never say, ‘Oh it’s just another meth lab and more kids,’” said Sgt. Curt Durnil with Indiana State Police. “When there’s kids involved, it changes the entire aspect of the entire investigation.”
Just last month, Jessica Rogers was accused of murdering her 7-year-old son, Dreydon Webb, after starting a fire in her apartment while cooking meth. Police said Rogers used the shake-and-bake method.
“They’re going to take the simplest way that they absolutely know how to do this because they want to make it quick,” said Durnil. “They want to make it easy and they want to get it out there and sell it, and get it used very quickly.”
Four young children were placed into the custody of Child Protective Services. They were also taken to the hospital for possible inhalation and contamination illnesses from the dangerous chemicals.