It's a homeowner's nightmare. A family went out of town and came back to find quite a shock - squatters had moved into their house.
Dayna and Troy Donovan and their two daughters had to live in a relative's cramped basement for months because they couldn't move back into their own house. They couldn't even come within 100 yards of their home because the squatters got a restraining order.
"We felt very helpless and very angry," Dayna told INSIDE EDITION.
Dayna and Troy told INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret their nightmare began after Troy found temporary work out of state. They said they left their home of 12 years in Littleton, Colorado, locked up tight.
Moret asked, "You didn't leave the house empty?"
Dayna said, "No, we did not. We had possessions in the house, non-essential possessions. We had items outside the home, patio set, barbecue, play set for our children."
When they came home several months later, they said they found the squatters in their house.
"I was floored," said Troy.
Dayna said, "I just was outraged, and I just couldn't believe it, I thought it's got to be a mistake, are you kidding me?"
Dayna and Troy actually won an eviction order. But one of the squatters then filed for bankruptcy and cops said they couldn't evict someone while it was pending.
"Law enforcement just wouldn't step up to the plate. We didn't have the luxury to get an attorney on it," said an emotional Dayna.
INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret went to the house to confront the squatters and get their side of the story.
Moret asked, "Are you moving out today?"
One squatter said, "No we are not moving."
Moret said, "This is not your house, you know that?"
"Yeah, I know," replied another squatter.
Moret then asked, "Why are you still here?"
They actually told Moret to get off their property and said, "We have nothing to say to you."
Moret said, "Troy and Dayna Donovan claim you took your house from them."
One of the squatters said, "Go talk to them."
Moret replied, "I did talk to them."
"Go talk to them again," said the squatter.
Moret said, "They have a court order that said they are allowed to move in."
"Talk to them again if you want to. We have nothing to say to you."
Although they wouldn't talk to Moret, the squatters reportedly believed they had legitimately bought the home for $5,000 from a real-estate agent, and had documents to back their claim on the house.
Moret asked the squatters, "Please set the record straight. I am giving you the opportunity." They simply ignored his plea.
It took nine excruciatingly long months before the squatters were forced to leave. Now Dayna and Troy can finally say goodbye to those cramped quarters.
Dayna gave Moret a message for anyone who thinks such a nightmare can't happen to them.
"It can happen," she said.