Criminal charges have been filed in a child mistreatment case that led to the arrest of a Stone County couple.

Stone County authorities responded to a call of a child sitting in the traffic lane of Hwy 14 East near St. James at 3:45 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 2nd.

Authorities report a child with autism and other health issues was found wearing nothing but a shirt and a diaper in 21 degree weather. Deputies immediately called for an ambulance, the child was transported to the Stone County Medical Center for treatment.

The child was treated and later released into the custody of the state.

Officers were familiar with the child’s family and responded to their residence. Once on scene officers observed the front door standing wide open with the couple identified as Phillip and Emma Kronk lying on a mattress on the floor.

Authorities say it took a few minutes to awaken the couple, they were both found to be under the influence of narcotics and alcohol.

The couple was arrested and transported to the Stone County Detention Center.

A search warrant was obtained and deputies from the sheriff’s department, Crimes Against Children, Department of Human Services, and 16th Judicial Drug Task Force went to the residence on Jan. 3 and discovered numerous items of marijuana and methamphetamine drug paraphernalia.

On Jan. 5th official charges were filed in Stone County Circuit Court against both Kronks for endangering the welfare of an incompetent person in the first degree; possession of drug paraphernalia with the purpose to use meth and possession of marijuana, both Class A misdemeanors.

Bonds for the two was set at $10,000 for each.

According to the arrest affidavits, the child had previously been found by authorities in the roadway both in September and October of 2021 between 3 and 4 am wearing only a diaper.

DHS was contacted for both 2021 incidents, and after the one in October, the child was turned over to their grandparents.

Authorities stated the Kronks were extremely intoxicated when deputies encountered the two at their residence. They were both cited for endangering the welfare of a minor after the October incident according to records.