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Woman Goes to Her Home and Finds Stranger Living There, Police Say They Can Do Nothing

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 13, 2022
06:30 A.M.
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When a woman saw that a complete stranger had moved into her vacant home and refused to leave, she decided to go to the police for help. But the woman claimed to have received a response that only worsened matters.

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Everyone wishes to have a home where they can feel safe and secure. For some, home is a sanctuary where they can unwind and relax after a long and tiring day. For others, it can be a space that can serve as a professional workstation and a personal arena.

While people might have their own definition of what a home looks and feels like, nobody wants to feel unwelcomed in their house under any circumstances. The story we're sharing today sheds light on an unpleasant incident that a homeowner said she recently experienced.

Danielle Cruz. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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A SHOCKING DISCOVERY

Danielle Cruz lived with her husband in Cook County, Illinois. The couple owned a three-bedroom home in the Chatham neighborhood, and according to Cruz, they had listed it on the market and planned to sell it.

The Chicago woman expressed that her family renovated the house before moving out and deciding to sell it, but their excitement vanished when they learned something shocking.

Danielle Cruz's home in the Chatham neighborhood. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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Cruz told ABC 7 that a contractor, who was working on making some final repairs to her Chatham pad, informed her that the house wasn't vacant and someone was living in it. She further said:

"We honestly thought he was joking because we knew the house was vacant. My husband just repaired the house completely with his own money."

The front view of Danielle Cruz's home. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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ANOTHER UNPLEASANT SURPRISE

Soon afterward, Cruz said that she and her husband showed up with the cops and were stunned to see a young woman in the house with all her belongings.

The homeowner said she hoped the police would help solve the matter but received another horrid surprise when they told her they couldn't do anything about it. Cruz also added:

"They said unfortunately they couldn't prove she was trespassing. We have to go to court and follow the eviction process."

Danielle Cruz points to her house while talking to the ABC 7 correspondent. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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THE STRANGER'S CLAIM

Cruz revealed that the woman claimed to have seen the home up for sale online and signed a month-to-month lease with the landlord, paying $8,000 upfront to move in.

Dadkhah explained that once the police referred homeowners to seek help from the eviction courts, the process could take six, 12, or 18 months.

Although Cruz denied meeting her or listing the house for rent, police said the woman had a lease document, making the case a civil matter that could only be settled in eviction court.

A closer view of the front door of Danielle Cruz's home. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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THE DISTRAUGHT HOMEOWNER

The livid homeowner confessed she was shocked and devastated after learning that she would have to go through lengthy court proceedings to get rid of the alleged squatter to sell her $175,000 home. Cruz revealed:

"I definitely do feel violated. I own this house, and it feels like if anyone can just break into your house and kind of take over, that's a scary feeling."

Danielle Cruz's neighbor, Chiron Baux. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

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Moreover, Cruz said she was willing to negotiate and work something out, but the woman refused to speak with her. The distraught Chicago resident explained that her dream of selling property and providing for her family was also tarnished. She said:

"You know, we're trying to live the American dream. They say own property, you know, we are trying to provide for our family. And then this happens, and it almost makes you never want to own anything. It's not worth it."

HER NEIGHBORS' REACTION

Cruz's neighbors also shared their views on the unnerving situation. Chiron Baux commented, "Well, it's disgusting. It's stealing, and it's not right." Another neighbor, Quintara Smith, expressed, "No one wants to come back, and someone is living in a property. It's frightening. I mean, that can happen to anybody."

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Chicago real estate attorney, Mo Dadkhah. | Source: YouTube.com/ABC 7 Chicago

THIS WASN'T THE FIRST TIME

While the story is reportedly bizarre and unsettling, Chicago real estate attorney Mo Dadkhah revealed that such cases are not uncommon in Cook County and could occur through one of two scenarios.

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Dadkhah said someone could break into a vacant property and create a fake lease to present to the police, or an intruder could change the locks and pretend to be a landlord to rent out the home. He told ABC 7:

"So, generally speaking, squatters have to figure out a way to show some sort of residency."

Dadkhah explained that once the police referred homeowners to seek help from the eviction courts, the process could take six, 12, or 18 months.

What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think what the Chicago homeowner experienced was unfair? What would you do if you were in her place? If you liked reading this story, please share it with your family and friends.

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