Neighbor and mother both charged in connection with rape of 16-year-old

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CALLAWAY COUNTY- Two Fulton women are charged in connection to a rape case involving a 16-year-old boy. 

24-year-old Hayleigh Mertell is charged with second degree sodomy and second degree rape with a 16-year-old boy. Samantha Strahl, the boy’s mother, is charged with first degree endangerment of a child. 

According to court documents, investigators said Hayleigh Mertell admitted to having sexual relations with the 16-year-old boy, who lived right next door to her. 

Samantha Strahl admitted to suspecting sexual relations between the two and to letting her son move out of her house and into Mertell’s. Strahl also admitted to Callaway County Sheriff that she smoked weed and methamphetamine with the two. 

Christopher Cordrey, a former partner of Mertell, said this is shocking.

“I really don’t know what was going through her head to do such a thing,” Cordrey said. 

Benjamin Miller, an assistant prosecuting attorney, said that any time a child is in a case like this, they need to take matters seriously.

Samantha Strahl was released on bond and her next court date is set for November 15th. 

Hayleigh Mertell is still in custody at this time.