PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK)—A couple was arrested in Huntington after a baby was found dead in Portsmouth, Ohio.
On Sept. 17, 2021, Portsmouth Police received a call about a deceased baby found lying in a crib in Portsmouth. The baby was 11 months old.
The case was then turned over to the Special Victims Unit (a collaboration between Portsmouth PD and the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office).
Robert L. Filius and Michaela R. Hupp, the biological father and mother of the baby, were indicted by a grand jury on a secret indictment on Jan. 21, 2022.
The special victims unit (SVU) was staked out waiting for Robert Filius and Michaela Hupp to visit their older children at children’s services Friday. When they didn’t show, the effort to arrest them became multi-state.
“Michaela Hupp and Robert Filius– I believe they’re boyfriend and girlfriend–and the charges stem from the death of an infant child of theirs,” says Detective Sgt. Jodi Conkel of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.
On September 17th, Portsmouth Police responded to a call at their home, and found their 11-month-old baby dead in its crib.
“That’s when they notified the Prosecutor’s Office and us that it would be a possible SVU case and it was one of our first ones working jointly,” Conkel says.
After waiting for autopsy results, they presented it to the Scioto County Grand Jury last Friday, and were issued a special indictment warrant for this couple’s arrest.
“This time it was a secret indictment and the reason that sometimes they do those types of cases is if the person’s fled the area or you think the person may flee if they find out. In this case, we had got information that they had moved to Huntington,” Conkel says.
Fast forward to Friday: where police lay in wait for the couple to visit their older children… but they never showed.
“When they did not, we reached out to the Huntington Police Department, who was more than helpful,” Conkel says.
“Our officers responded to the area at the 400 block of Bridge Street this morning around 11:30. They were pretty quickly able to locate both individuals and place them under arrest,” says Deputy Chief of Police Phil Watkins of the Huntington Police Department.
Officers from both states say they credit the couple’s swift arrest to a team effort.
“They were great. They said ‘yes, we’ll go try to find them.’ They actually went immediately once our warrants were entered,” Conkel says.
“That’s how we as law enforcement work best–when we’re collaborating with other agencies. And we always do everything we can to help other agencies, cause I can’t tell you a time that we’ve reached out for help that we haven’t been provided assistance,” Watkins says.
They were arrested in Huntington by Huntington Police on Friday, Jan. 18 and charged with involuntary manslaughter endangering children, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, and aggravated possession of drugs. In addition to that, because they were picked up in West Virginia on alleged crimes committed in Ohio, they get an additional fugitive from justice charge.
They’ll be held in West Virginia on that charge while Scioto County law enforcement works on extraditing them.