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Man faces pending charges after leaving mobile home abandoned on highway near Republic

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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NEAR REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - We live in a crazy world these days. In a time where consideration and common sense are sometimes hard to find, here’s a new one for you.

Somebody left a mobile home in the middle of the highway.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office says someone left a mobile home near the intersection of Farm Road 168 and Farm Road 97 near Republic. The home sat on one of the roads Wednesday for several hours.

After several community tips, the sheriff’s office arrested a man Thursday afternoon who they believe abandoned the mobile home. The suspect’s name has not yet been released, and charges are pending.

“I’ve talked to several deputies who’ve been here a lot longer than I have, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that hasn’t happened before,” said Paige Rippee, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.

It happened less than a mile from the busy intersection of State Highway M and U.S. 60. As of Thursday, the mobile home was demolished by the Greene County Highway Department, and agencies properly disposed of it.

The intersection of Farm Road 168 and 97 is a less-traveled area near Republic where drivers don’t usually encounter a lot of problems.

“Cows get out. That’s about it,” said Barb Merckling, who lives near the intersection.

But Wednesday afternoon along that stretch somebody left a mobile home abandoned on the road blocking traffic.

“I left here about 2:10 p.m. When I came back, about 3 p.m., it was sitting there,” Merckling said.

She called her husband to warn him about finding a different way home.

“I had to explain it a little more because he wasn’t quite sure what I was talking about,” Merckling said with a laugh. “I said, ‘Well, there’s a mobile home and it’s abandoned, sitting on blocks and no one is around.’”

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office responded and found traffic backed up.

“All of the Republic high school, middle school, and elementary buses that travel in that area were stuck in that traffic jam,” Rippee said.

It took several hours to clear the road as crews worked into the evening to solve the conundrum, ultimately deciding that the mobile home was not in good enough condition to be towed away.

“They basically just tore it apart and put it in the dumpster,” Rippee explained. “It’s probably in the landfill by now.”

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office also posted the news on its Facebook page and the comment section quickly took a humorous turn with responses like:

“Did anyone knock to see if they’re home?”

“She got the kids, car, and the house.”

“This is what happens when the husband finds out the in-laws are coming to stay.”

“Why does this sound like the beginning of a country song?”

“So do you get a parking ticket or a building code violation?”

“Home is where you park it.”

“Wouldn’t fit through the drive-thru.”

“This is quite an impressive senior prank.”

“The Facebook post has reached 392,780 people,” Rippee said. “The ones where people say ‘I’m just here to see the comments are among my favorites because that means they’re interacting with us and maybe in the future they’ll see our hiring posts or other crime incidents we’ve posted about. They’ll be in the know of what’s happening in Greene County.”

On Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office arrested the man who they believe was responsible for abandoning the mobile home. Rippee says he was a private operator, not affiliated with a company.

“The charges are property damage and abandonment of a vehicle,” she said. “That’s what we’re presenting to the prosecuting attorney’s office and they will take it from there. What he claimed was that he had a blowout. There were some mechanical issues going on with the tires on the trailer and there was no way he was going to get it removed from the road without contacting us. The thing he should have done was contact us immediately, but that did not happen which caused a series of domino-effect events.”

Her advice to others in the same situation?

“Well, if you’re wanting to have a mobile home removed from a park, you might want to contact a proper company with a proper vehicle to remove it,” Rippee answered.

And whatever you do, don’t leave it in the middle of the road.

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