MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An East Memphis couple is accused of cooking methamphetamine in their toddler's room, right under the child's mattress. Memphis police say it happened inside a home near Appling and Reese. The parents were taken away in handcuffs, and the child was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
Neighbors say the house was always quiet during the day, but at night the lights were on all the time. They knew something was up, but they had no idea how bad it was. Preston Leach moved in the 2000-block of Dromedary two weeks ago. While Leach was waiting for the cable guy at his brand new home, his neighbors had visitors of their own. "Fire trucks with tarps, ambulance, undercover cop cars, and a bunch of people outside," Leach says.
Jonathan Curle was upset, to say the least, "We started seeing a bunch of people in suits coming out of the house, that's just so freaking outrageous, that's so outrageous, let alone that it's five houses down."
When he found out about the meth lab down the street, he was in shock. "You just can't believe that someone would do something like that around kids." However what the father of two didn't know, cops say they found an active shake and bake lab under the mattress where the couple's two-year-old daughter was sleeping. Curle was stunned, "Uhh, that's bad dude, words can't explain."
Like many parents, Curle struggled to understand, "That's going to make a lot of people upset. Wow, beneath the two-year-old's mattress? That's outrageous, it makes me pretty mad, especially having kids."
Police say the chemical smell filled the air outside the home. Neighbors saw the two-year-old in her pajamas. She was decontaminated then rushed to Le Bonheur. Her parents, 31-year-old Amanda Elrod and 28-year-old Matthew Richardson, were arrested.
Curle says, "It really makes my heart hurt that somebody would go through that extreme measures to try to cover up their actions. I really hope they do face consequences for that."
Elrod wasn't home when the police arrived; she's charged with Initiation of a Process to Manufacture Meth. Richardson is charged with Initiation of a Process to Manufacture Meth, Promotion of Meth Manufacture and Aggravated Child Abuse and Neglect.