PLEASANT HILL, Mo. — The father of a baby discovered two weeks ago encased in concrete has been arrested and charged in Cass County, Mo., with abandonment of a corpse.
Police responded to the home in the 300 block of Cline St., on Nov. 4, on reports of a stolen automobile and possible illegal drug use. Police also received a tip that the woman of the home had given birth to a child on Oct. 7, and that the child died and was disposed of.
“To have infant remains in concrete [in a] bucket — that’s why there’s a law against doing that,” Teresa Hensley, Cass County prosecutor, said.
When police arrived at the home, they found a vehicle they determined was stolen. Police took the husband, Matthew Scroggs, 28, to the police station for questioning where they say they received his permission to search the home.
During the search, police said they located a blue plastic tote filled with concrete. The tip they received had alerted them that the blue tub would contain evidence of a crime.
Police said they asked Scroggs if his wife had recently been pregnant, as the tip indicated. According to police, Scroggs at first denied that his wife was pregnant, but upon further questioning, admitted that she delivered a stillborn male child when she was five months pregnant, which Scroggs said he put into the blue bucket and filled with concrete.
The couple has four other children, according to police. The children were staying with their grandparents in the small town of Prairie Home, Mo., about two hours east of Pleasant Hill. FOX 4’s Rob Low spoke with Krystal Scroggs on Thursday at her home and she said that she and her husband were trying to build a memorial.
“The only reason my baby was not in the ground and my husband is being accused of abandonment of a corpse is because I begged my husband to wait until I was healthy enough and strong enough to finish it (the memorial) hand-in-hand with him together,” she said.
When Low asked Scroggs why they didn’t call 911 after her alleged miscarriage, she said there was no reason to.
“It’s a natural act of Mother Earth, it’s something that happens every day,” she said.
Autopsy results will definitively determine the child’s cause of death and if it was actually stillborn as Scroggs said.
Prosecutors also charged Matthew Scroggs with tampering with a motor vehicle. His bond has been set at $2,500. He is expected to appear in court again on Dec. 12. at 9 a.m. Krystal Scroggs said that neither she nor her husband ever abandoned a child.
“I don’t care what anybody’s opinion is, I don’t care what you guys think. I know what’s in my heart and my husband’s heart and in my family and in my home,” she said. “I never abandoned and I never have and I never will.”