TUCSON, Ariz. - Your home is your castle, or at least, it's supposed to be. But a south side Tucson family is finding out the hard way, sometimes you may have to go to court to make sure that castle is really yours.
“I only see things like this on TV, so when it happened to me, I was just in shock,” Jackeline told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. She didn't want us to show her face on camera, but she did want to tell us her story. It’s about how she found out that complete strangers had moved into her family's Tucson home after she had moved to Phoenix...
“One of my brother's friends passed by our house and asked us if we were back because she saw a light and she saw a car, and that's when we found out,” Jackeline told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Jackeline told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, before moving to Phoenix, she had been living at the property for about a year. When she found out about the new residents?
“The first reaction was I was really mad,” Jackeline said.
Jackeline provided a video to the News 4 Tucson Investigators that showed a heated exchange between her family and the people now living in the home near Drexel and Palo Verde. They are people that made it very clear that they believe the home now belongs to them.
“They just kept fighting, and calling us names, and saying that that was their property and for us to leave, because that was their home now,” Jackeline told the News 4 Tucson Investigators
The News 4 Tucson Investigators went to the property, to find out who really has the rights to this home. But, the man now living in the home didn't want to talk – he just wanted us to leave. Meantime, Jackeline's family is taking the matter to court.
Back to this video and a woman identified as Megan Dalton, with Solution Finders real estate. The man now living at the property actually works for her. He found the property for sale on Facebook, and Dalton loaned him some money to get into the mobile home. The News 4 Tucson Investigators went to Dalton's home-office. She wasn't there, but she called us right back.
“I just met the guy briefly for, you know, for about the 20-minutes that we walked around the property,” Dalton told us. According to Dalton, the man selling the property on Facebook is named Carlos Gonzales.
“He had keys to the house. He walked in, showed us around, knew about it,” Dalton said. “Carlos said he, you know, would come by at the first of every month, and pick up the rent check,” she added.
Dalton says her employee put down $3,000 down on the rent to own property, plus $900 for first and last month's rent. It was all paid in cash, and the rent is due again on October 1st.
“This is a big mess. We're all looking for this guy,” Dalton told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators reviewed public records that show Jackeline's family does, in fact, own the property, and are listed on the Pima County Assessor's website.
Dalton is worried about losing the cash she loaned her employee and losing her reputation.
“I've never scammed anybody before. I'm an honest person. I'm an honest businesswoman,” Dalton told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Meantime, Jackeline and her family just want the court to return, what she says is legally theirs, and for the people living there to get out.
“Just for them to be gone, and never hear about these people again, I'll be more than happy with that,” Jackeline said.
The case goes to court next week and we will be there.
If you have something you'd like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to investigate email us at email@example.com, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.
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