Cleanup continues for Nevada City homeowners after squatters decamp
Cleanup continues on the Marlowes’ rural Nevada City property that was overrun by squatters
It’s been nearly two months since Lisa and Bob Marlowe found squatters living amid mounds of garbage on family property above Nevada City.
One woman was arrested and a couple eventually moved out of a cabin. But the destruction remained — and the Marlowes have been struggling to clean up their family’s retreat while both are still working full time in the Bay Area as essential health care workers.
Not only have they had to rent giant containers to haul away the garbage, they also have to tow numerous abandoned vehicles, pay outstanding utilities and restore the water supply destroyed when the squatters ripped out the well pump.
“Junk King came out one day and took a load for $600, that was just the pile outside the main house,” Lisa said. “I’ve also paid people to begin cleaning out the cabin area and I (had) a big dumpster delivered and that was also approximately $600. This doesn’t include any labor.”
Their available funds are “tapped out,” Lisa said, adding a friend started a GoFundMe to help with some of those expenses.
Because the squatters threw out decades of family memories into the same piles as rotting food and other trash, Lisa has been painstakingly salvaging whatever she could — and that has slowed the clean-up efforts.
“The first weekend, we went through (the) big garbage heap (outside the main house) and found a lot of stuff, including 8 millimeter movies from my childhood,” she said.
The dumpster delivered by Waste Management has already been filled.
“We’re still not done,” Lisa said. “We probably still have enough to fill another half dumpster. It’s crazy how much stuff was there.”
The vehicles have been yet another headache.
Two of the Marlowes’ vehicles were stolen from the property and have been recovered, but now they are liable for the towing and storage fees, Lisa said. A vehicle belonging to her mother was left behind but was destroyed and needs to be towed, she added.
One vehicle found on the property was towed away by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office after it was found to have been stolen, Lisa said.
Three other vehicles not belonging to the Marlowes remain onsite, including a truck with no wheels that will require a flatbed truck to remove, as well as a trailer full of more garbage.
“We’re just trying to get through the cleanup,” Lisa said, adding the property does look much better now. “Friends have helped me so much, I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Meanwhile, only one of the alleged squatters currently is facing charges. Amanda Carlson, 39, has pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree burglary and vandalism charges. Carlson appeared in Nevada County Superior Court last week via Zoom and is applying for a mental health court diversion, her attorney said. She will return to court Jan. 22 and remained in custody Friday on a $50,000 bond.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.
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