SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Police took several minors into custody, Sunday, after finding them partying in a house the teens allegedly broke into.
Monday, the woman who lives in the home during summertime says the teens had likely been squatting there for weeks.
The home is trashed from top to bottom. The resident had been out-of-town and taking care of a family medical emergency. Apparently, the wrong group of people knew she was away.
“This is disgusting,” Tara Younker said, while walking through her devastated home for the first time since hearing the news and rushing back to Utah.
“When I left, it was… yeah. My house was nice and clean and not like this. This is amazing,” she told Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen.
Salt Lake Police found several teenagers inside partying, after neighbors reported seeing broken windows and suspicious activity.
“They found seven individuals in my home. One of them happens to be my third cousin, who I’ve never seen in my entire life,” Younker said, adding that estranged family members knew she had left town.
Younker says she believes the teens had been squatting inside since December.
“When they figured out that I realized something was wrong, that’s when they did this,” she said, gesturing to the destruction.
“We found a lot of beer cans, I’ve seen drug paraphernalia. There’s a pot can over there… vomit in the bathroom. They were into some weird porn, because that’s all over,” said Mike Fairbanks, a representative from ServiceMaster of Salt Lake, a restoration company.
Younker also found vandalism and obscenities strewn throughout her home, wall and ceiling gouges, thousands of dollars’ worth in property damage, and the floor completely covered in filth, from beer cans to blood.
Crews are now working to salvage what they can.
“We’re going to take inventory of everything that’s damaged,” Fairbanks said, adding that the job would take several days.
Police also found the teens armed with weapons, which has Younker fearing for her safety. She says her family drama dates back for generations and that she can think of only one reason relatives have it out for her.
“It’s, ‘I want what you have. I have nothing. I am beyond a welfare recipient. I am on the street, and I deserve everything you have that you’ve worked for,'” she said.
“I see,” Ali replied.
“That’s their mentality,” Younker reiterated.
Police say because the suspects are minors, they will not serve jail time but will face charges including trespass and vandalism.
The devastated homeowner is now staying at a hotel but says she fears the suspects could strike again. That is why for now, she is trying to manage her family member’s medical emergency from Salt Lake City.