Vet says squatter living in Detroit home she bought at auction - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Vet says squatter living in Detroit home she bought at auction

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By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- "I had butterflies because it was like, oh my god, I won, and I got it for a really good price," said Tamika Jones.

However, this house came with a little something extra  -- a squatter.   Jones spotted the house on Detroit's east side a month ago while it was still empty.

"I saw a nice neighborhood close to the Grosse Pointe border, three bedrooms, one and a half baths, just some great space for me and my family."

Jones bought the house at the Wayne County tax auction for less than $3,000.  Neighbors said the day she sealed the deal was almost the same day a squatter set up shop.

Jones is a Navy veteran who works for the Department of Veteran Services helping vets find housing and jobs.  She left a note offering to do the same for whoever was living in the house.  Jones said he told her his name was David.

"He called me on the phone after he saw the note and gave me a story about how it was his uncle's house and he didn't have anywhere to go.  I offered to give him money to leave, maybe pay him for the things he brought into the house."

How did David respond to her generous offer?

"He cut off all communication and changed his phone number."

But clearly he hasn't changed his address.  Someone turned on the lights while we were outside.  The person inside wouldn't come to the door, but neighbors said they've met him.  He even gave one an answer when he asked about the first floor windows.

"He said that his brother-in-law and his girlfriend had a fight and knocked the windows out," said Charles Demps.

"I picked a perfectly good house, and now they're tearing it up because I can't physically go there without a deed," Jones remarked.

She said Wayne County told her she won't get the deed until the November 22.  Meanwhile, she's hoping the situation don't get nastier and David will leave on his own.

If he does not leave, Jones said once she gets the deed, she will begin eviction proceedings.

Jones said she called police and told them the windows on her house had been broken and the person responsible was still inside, but no one showed up.  Meanwhile, police want to get the 9-1-1 call before they give a response and say the best thing for her to do at this point is to file a report.

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