POLICE: 6 kids found in motel meth lab
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Clarksville police discovered six kids living inside a motel room alongside a working meth lab.
One detective described the situation as very sad -- to walk into a meth lab and see the faces of innocent children, from 14- to six-years-old, through a cloud of smoke.
Alexi Peterson says Damen Gohl, Breah Watteau, and their six kids moved into America's Best Inn & Suites motel a week ago, and Peterson could instantly smell something was wrong.
"Definitely not pot smoke, not cigarette smoke, and nobody was in there cooking any good food," Peterson said. "It was a really distinct, terrible smell coming out of their room."
Peterson -- the mother of four kids with her fifth on the way -- says she called Clarksville police because she was worried about the kids' safety.
"There's six little kids sitting in that room that have no choice and have no say," Peterson said.
"When we first knocked on the door, we could see through the window they were trying to hide stuff," said an undercover Clarksville detective. He and other police officers asked Gohl if they could search the motel room.
"We found the cooler with all the manufacturing paraphernalia."
But the detective also made another shocking discovery.
"There was a total of six kids in the room. They were within 6 to 8 feet from the cooler with all the paraphernalia."
As detectives searched room, a police officer noticed Gohl's 14-year-old daughter run down the stairs, get into his car, and stuff methamphetamine and Lortabs underneath her shirt.
"She was scared for her dad and trying to protect him," said the detective.
Gohl and Watteau face charges of manufacturing and possessing meth along with six counts each of child endangerment. Peterson says she has no regrets about calling police, recalling what a cop yelled to Gohl during his arrest.
"What is wrong with you? You've got five kids in here. We knock on the door and five heads turn to us and all innocent faces staring up at us," Peterson said.
America's Best Inn and Suites is also the same place where twin newborns were found floating in a toilet last month. The little boy died but the girl survived. Authorities are still reviewing the case and have not pressed any charges.
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