Metro-East News

Why we did this story

When Tim and Amy Elkins were charged in the death of their infant son in January, Madison County Sheriff John Lakin described the living conditions inside their home as “absolutely the worst that we’ve ever seen.’’

How could this happen? How could conditions get to this point, in this house full of nine children on Main Street in New Douglas? Could someone have stopped it?

Reporters Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk set out to find the answers.

The result of their work is “Sometime in the Night,’’ based on interviews, public documents and other records obtained by the BND.

This is a tough story. Many readers will find the details disturbing, but they are essential to telling the story. We couldn’t ignore them. Neither could we avoid writing about the Elkins children, though we did not use their names or show their faces.

Please let us know what you think about this story. You can send your feedback to Thank you for reading and the BND.

— Jeffry Couch, BND editor