Cleanup continues for Nevada City homeowners after squatters decamp |

Cleanup continues for Nevada City homeowners after squatters decamp

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

Lisa Marlowe and her husband Bob stand on their family property that was recently overrun by squatters. With extensive help from friends, the property is beginning to look like home again.
Elias Funez
A large trash dumpster waits to be hauled to the landfill after being filled with refuse left on the Marlowes’ rural Nevada City property by a band of squatters. One of the accused, Amanda Carlson, has a January court date and remained in custody Friday.
Elias Funez
Lisa Marlowe’s home off Cooper Road in Nevada City is starting to look more like home now after extensive cleanups were conducted on the property by onsite caretakers.
Elias Funez
The kitchen of Lisa Marlowe’s childhood home is no longer filled with trash and refuse from when a group of squatters took residence earlier this year in Nevada City.
Elias Funez
There is still some trash left to be taken care of on site, including some hazardous waste that was brought to the Marlowe’s property by the squatters.
Elias Funez
The interior of the Marlowe’s Cooper Road home is clean and resembles a dwelling again. The house was recently ransacked and overrun with squatters.
Elias Funez
There are still a few rooms in Lisa Marlowe’s rural Nevada City home that need a full detailing, including this room which once stored her mother’s furniture. Much work has been done to clean the rest of the property since squatters ransacked and took over earlier this year.
Elias Funez

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