Couple learns new house an ex-meth lab

Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- An Oregon couple says they learned the hard way their new house had been a methamphetamine lab when they and their toddler son got sick.

Jonathan and Beth Hankins now want Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage guarantor, to test houses for meth residue before allowing them to be sold, ABC News reported. They have acquired 200,000 signatures on an on-line petition.

The couple found the house, which had gone through foreclosure, in Klamath Falls in southern Oregon on HomeSteps, a Freddie Mac listing service, and paid $36,500 for it. But less than a month after they moved in, both developed severe headaches and their 2-year-old son also was sickened.

That was when neighbors told them they believed the previous owners had been manufacturing methamphetamine there. They tested the home and found high levels of meth residue.

The couple are now renting a house nearby.

"It's kind of sad," Hankins said. "It's a great block. It's one of those neighborhoods that went through a rough stage and it's on the upward swing. People are taking care of their yards and homes. Now it's another abandoned property."

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