A Franklin County man is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child and possession of meth-making materials after a deer hunter reported suspicious activity in a field east of St. Clair.
Michael A. Cain, 37, St. Clair, was arrested Friday evening, Oct. 28, after the hunter in a deer stand saw a vehicle driving through a field near Possum Hollow and Bethel Church roads and stop next to a tree line, the sheriff's office reported.
The hunter said he saw the driver remove items from the car's trunk and suspected he was setting up a meth lab, according to the report. The hunter, fearful of leaving his stand, called his mother who contacted the sheriff's office.
After receiving the call and narrowing down the location, deputies moved in and began searching the wooded area. At one point they smelled a chemical odor and located Cain standing next to components used to manufacture meth, authorities said.
The man's 2-year-old daughter was inside the car and was holding several unidentified pills. Investigators also said they found syringes under the girl's car seat.
The child was taken to Mercy Hospital Washington for examination and evaluation and later turned over to the Missouri Division of Family Services.
A felony complaint issued by the prosecutor's office alleges that Cain possessed lithium batteries and muriatic acid with intent to manufacture meth.
A second count, charging Cain with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, alleges that he possessed chemicals with intent to manufacture meth in the child's presence.
The sheriff's office said records show the Cain has 25 prior felony arrests and 13 prior felony convictions.
The man was scheduled to enter a plea next week on a felony charge of second-degree domestic assault, according to Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks.
The suspect also has two misdemeanor charges pending including violation of a child protection order and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia in an Aug. 10 incident.
Two misdemeanor charges also were filed against Cain in an Aug. 18 incident in which he allegedly resisted arrest by fleeing after he was stopped for driving with a suspended or revoked license, the prosecutor's office said.