Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley announced on Tuesday that Matthew Scroggs and Krystal Scroggs have been charged with one count of murder in the second degree and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. Matthew Scroggs is also charged with tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree.
On November 4 of last year the Cass County Sheriff’s Department contacted the Pleasant Hill Police Department about information received concerning illegal drug activity at a residence in the city. The detective that made the call also noted that the woman at the residence, Ms. Scroggs, supposedly had given birth to a child at the beginning of October at the residence and that the child lived for a short time before passing away.
The person who submitted the information to the Sheriff’s Department said that Mr. Scroggs had stolen a vehicle on his property. Mr. Scroggs disclosed this information to the reporting party while he was high on methamphetamine.
Later on November 4, a Pleasant Hill police officer found the vehicle reported as stolen at the Scroggs’ residence and Mr. Scroggs was taken into custody for possession of stolen property.
While at the Pleasant Hill Police Department, Mr. Scroggs admitted to illegal drug use and gave consent for officers to search his property. The probable cause statement reads that while searching the property, police found a blue plastic feed container filled with what appeared to be recently poured concrete. The blue container was sitting alone in the garage, leading officers to believe that it may contain the body of a newborn.
After that discovery, the police interviewed Mr. Scroggs a second time. Although he initially denied that his wife had been pregnant, he eventually acknowledged the pregnancy and admitted to the police that the baby’s body was inside the blue container.
The Scroggs had planned to give the child up for adoption. Ms. Scroggs would later state that she used methamphetamine and marijuana throughout the pregnancy. As Krystal Scroggs went into labor, Matthew Scroggs helped her deliver the baby in the bedroom of their residence. The couple claimed that the baby would not eat and they went to bed — only to wake up to a deceased infant.
Ms. Scroggs stated that she placed the baby in a box and that they agreed to bury the baby.
On November 5, Matthew Scroggs was interviewed again by Pleasant Hill police. This time he stated that the baby demonstrated difficulty breathing and that the child would stop breathing unless Ms. Scroggs bounced or rubbed the baby. The couple used the internet to research the consequences of a baby born under the influence of meth and marijuana and expected the baby to be born with complications.
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Scroggs attempted to seek medical help for the baby.
The autopsy of the baby revealed the presence of methamphetamine in the baby’s system. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be methamphetamine intoxication due to maternal methamphetamine use.
Hensley stated that the time at which a baby is concerned a life under the law is not applicable to this case. The charge of murder will hold regardless since the baby was born and breathing before he passed away.
Mr. Scroggs was placed in the Cass County Jail but was released on a $25,000 bond November 26. Pleasant Hill Police Chief Robert Driscoll believes the couple is still nearby, as the couple was seen earlier in February. Scroggs is scheduled to appear in court on February 20 (he has not missed any prior court dates) for the charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.
“Neither one of them are in custody at this time and we will appreciate any help that we can get,” Driscoll said, confirming the Pleasant Hill Police Department does not know where they are, when they left, or where they went.
There were four children living in the household with the Scroggs have been moved to protective housing. Each of those children had methamphetamine in their systems as well. Their ages are 11, 6, 4, and 3.
If anyone has any information regarding the location of Matthew Scroggs or Krystal Scroggs (pictured below), he is urged to contact Cass County authorities.
Today, Thursday, February 20, 2014 Matthew Scroggs has been taken into custody. Krystal Scroggs is not in custody. No further information is available.