North Knox County neighbors react to children inside meth house

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Four people have been arrested after police found they were making meth, not just inside their house, but their car -- all while three children lived under the same roof.

“It's a very quiet neighborhood, the neighbors get along, talk to each other, it's a pretty tight community,” says Bradley Dorcas.

Most of the people who live on Scenicwood Road would agree with Dorcas. But what he witnessed just a couple doors down on Monday, has all of them thinking twice. The Knox County Sheriff's Office says four people, Leslie Mendez, Tammy Mercer, Emily Steinbach and Johnathan Thompson were making meth inside their home and car.

"They didn't associate with other people in the neighborhood,” says James Stanton.

According to neighbors, the children who lived in that same house, did.

Stanton says, “Usually the children were out front playing and the women were in and out."

“All along this street the church owns a lot of those homes there's children's activities almost every weekend with kids playing in the front yard from the daycare at the church,” says Dorcas.

At times neighbors say they noticed more traffic in the area.

“But nothing that raised our suspicion, we thought it was just young kids, young couple,” Dorcas says.

They never expected several meth labs in their own backyard.

"Anything could have happened in the house to endanger me and the other neighbors and i kind of feel betrayed,” says Steve Massengill.

The three kids were taken to East Tennessee Children's Hospital to be tested.


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