An Ohio family is living in fear after a man broke into their home while they were away, changed the locks, got rid of their stuff, and now claims he legally owns the house.
Professional squatter Robert Carr says the unnamed family abandoned their home in Springdale, allowing him to seize the property by filing a "quiet title."
The family, however, tells a very different story.
According to them, Carr took advantage of their temporary out-of-town visit to a dying relative in order to move in, empty out the home they've been living in for 21 years, and change all the locks.
Carr, who has reportedly seized nearly a dozen other homes in a similar manner, told WLWT he plans to ask a judge to void the family's claim to the house so he can seek full ownership.
"When you abandon a property, bam, walk away from it, 'I ain't never coming back. I don't want nothing to do with it,' right? Somebody can come in, 'Oh, mine,'" Carr told WLWT's investigative reporter Karin Johnson. "I have a team of people who go out and I say make sure the house is empty. If it's empty, change the locks."
The family has been forced to duke it out with Carr in court, adding to the stress of an already painful year.
"This is stress that has fallen on their shoulders out of nowhere, after the death of a loved one and now they're responsible to answer to this," said the family's attorney, Alison Warner.
And winning won't bring the family much solace.
"I feel violated. (I'm) very scared, you know, because I never know if somebody's going to be here," said the homeowner.
Update 1:50 p.m.: It seems Carr's squatting shenanigans finally caught up with him. He was arrested today on three counts of breaking and entering and three counts of theft, and is currently squatting in jail in lieu of a $40,000 bond.
[screengrab via WLWT]