An outraged homeowner says somebody stole her house. Jennifer Merin is 71 and is of an age when she should be enjoying life. Instead, she's facing the fight of her life.
INSIDE EDITION’s April Woodard asked her, “How frustrating is it for you to walk up to your own house and not be able to go in?”
“It's devastating,” replied Merin.
Her family has owned the humble brick house since 1931 - that's 83 years. It's where she was raised. Now, she can't get in because the locks have been changed.
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"It is - or was - the repository of my family memories and all of our family belongings and treasures," Merin said.
The garage was left unlocked so she opened it. Hey, why not? It's her house! And her stuff was inside, now, piled up in a heap, like junk.
Merin walked around and said, "This is my grandfather's bed. Torn up and put in the garage like this. It belongs in the house!"
So, how could this happen in America?
Merin, who lives in Manhattan and uses the house as a second home, first suspected something was up when she noticed a spike in her water bill. “The water bill was $100 more than it is ever because I don't use water there,” she explained.
So who was inside? She checked the city registry and found out that without her knowledge, the home had been deeded to a complete stranger, some guy named
Merin said, "There's a real serious scam here."
The seller? An Edith Moore. No one knows if Edith Moore even exists. Her address is fake.
Darrell Beatty, a convicted burglar, moved in. He even got his mail delivered.
Real estate expert Brian Lewis said what happened to Jennifer Merin is outrageous.
“The fact that somebody was able to forge a document and steal this house out from under her is unconscionable,” Lewis said.
An INSIDE EDITION producer tried to talk to a gentleman spotted coming out of the house. “Did you steal that house you're living in?”
“No,” replied the man. “I did not.”
The producer said, “Well, the woman who owns it says you stole that house.”
“I didn't steal that house,” he said.
“Are you Darrell Beaty?” asked the producer.
“I have no comment,” he said. “I didn't steal that house.”
Merin had a different opinion when she was pounding on the door of the home, "Open the door. This is my house!"