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The Crumbling House Next to Me

The crumbling house next to me


Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

Bordering my property line, a manufactured home is left to be devoured by mother nature; abandoned. I have owned my property for multiple years, and, throughout that time, an owner has never been present, nor had I seen anything suspicious — until recently.

On August 20th of this year, police were dispatched to the home with an arrest warrant. The 20th of August was a Saturday so being woken up around 7am to commotion would be an unpleasant surprise. This was until, however, I realized it could finally give me the opportunity to know some history of the abandoned home. Unfortunately, the police were, understandably, unable to speak during the open investigation. They did, however, let me know that the owner of the home has been marked as a threat to himself and others. He said for me to be on the lookout and if I see anything out of the ordinary, I should give them a call. A day or two passed and I noticed the police accidentally left the front door ajar. I made a mental note to close the door when I got a chance so mother nature could not make her way inside.

The next day, I walked from my property to close the door, but I was perplexed as I approached and realized the door was now closed.

I decided to walk around the home to inspect the condition and ensure a back door is not open or unlocked. Upon getting to the rear of the trailer, I noticed a small bedroom is missing a lower windowpane. The opening is small, but it is sizable enough to fit a smaller person. I notice the back door is closed, however, I reach up to grab the door handle and I am caught off guard by the door gliding open with ease; without even turning the handle. I take a momentary glance and close the door shut. After that, I go to the open window to peek inside before I leave. As I carefully place my head in the window, I notice a sticky note on the floor in the bedroom, lying in front of a closed door directly to my left with “Bathroom” written in Sharpie on it. It was close, so I reached inside and grabbed the note.

As I am taking in my last moment in the room, I am petrified to hear the back door, about 4 feet to the right of this window, smash against the wall I am leaning along. I pull my head out of the window and, without hesitation, make a run around the left side of the trailer back toward my property. When I get to the front, I see a white male, around 5’8 in height, running in a similar direction as me. We saw each other clearly. After noticing that we are running in similar directions, he turns around and starts to go the opposite way; I stand stationary, with a racing heart, sifting through my pockets for my phone to call the police. I knew, however, it would be too late. When they showed up, I offered the police the best description I could give, and they went on their way. This time, we made sure the door was closed and locked.

When I got back home, I decided to try and figure out the history of the property, the owner, or anything I could find that could help give me peace of mind after these two incidents. I was unsure of the address, so I went to Zillow to see if it is listed there — I have noticed Zillow typically has a surprising amount of information. Fortunately, the home had been for sale in 2011, until it was quickly purchased, so I was able to find basic documentation, including the address.

Why would someone buy a home just to leave it abandoned? The interior was in decent shape; and aside from the porch, the exterior could be cleaned up easily.

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Upon researching the address for an hour or two, I, disappointingly, produced no information. Finally, I decided to check out the county arrest record as a final effort for information.

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The most recent arrest was a man charged with “Possession of Schedule II,” “Possession of Schedule IV,” and “Attempting to Elude.” The last charge was a massive red flag. My local Sheriff’s office does not seem to release mugshots publicly so I could not identify his appearance on their side; instead, I copied his name and searched it in Google and was met by, not only a youthful photo of the guy I saw hours earlier, but a plethora of articles on both a local and national level about him. He has been arrested many times, but I was stunned as I started scrolling articles about one arrest.

For my safety, I am going to keep every identity and location confidential.

In April of 2012, he was arrested and accused of killing a hiker. Articles from 2014 unpack new case discoveries and updates, but also go into the personal life of the murderer. Newly publicized records, at the time, show that he was the caretaker of his aunt. His aunt had dementia and needed help with everyday tasks; help that he was meant to provide. His aunt passed away in November of 2012, alone. In the latter half of 2014, the trial is finally starting, and the man is making a spectacle of himself. Local news covered his trial in detail and used it as an opportunity to capitalize. Armed by documentation and well-respected lawyers, the man was able to successfully pull off an extremely rare insanity plea and was sentenced to “mandatory treatment,” whatever that means. While the initial arrest was made about 2 hours away, I was shocked to see past news coverage showing the mobile home in the background. According to 2014 coverage, the mobile home belonged to the aunt of the killer. This home is where they lived at the time of the incident.

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While the status of the home is unclear, I wonder what the future holds for it and who owns it. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and honestly, I am starting to feel uneasy about the potential risks, so I am going to try and reach out to the county for more information. If I get a response or see something else, I will post an update, but for now it’s status will remain a mystery.

Credit: JosephTheSnail

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