A group of siblings has been fighting for months to have a "professional squatter" removed from their late mother's Chicago home, and they claim that the city has done almost nothing to help them.
Darthula Young recently told reporters with CBS Chicago that her mother passed away last year. Before her death, her mother, whose name was not given in reports, spent more than three decades living in the same duplex in the Chatham neighborhood on the city's south side.
After the woman's death, Young and her siblings legally inherited the home, which had been in their family for generations. However, in September, Young said she received a call about a shooting at the home. When she arrived to investigate, she discovered that her key no longer worked because the locks had been changed.
Young soon discovered who had changed them: Takito Murray. According to Young, Murray is a "professional squatter" with a long history of arrests for drug and weapons charges. Murray had been wounded during the shooting at the residence, and after he was discharged from the hospital, Murray told Young and the police that "that he now lived there, that he had rights," Young recalled.
Police encouraged Young to go through the courts to have Murray evicted. She hired an attorney, but evicting squatters in cities like Chicago and New York City can take up to eight or nine months.
When confronted by a CBS Chicago reporter, Murray admitted that he had been living in a residence which belongs to Young and her siblings. "That was their building," Murray said. However, he claimed that he had made arrangements to rent the home from one of the siblings, though he did not furnish any proof of the arrangement.
Murray also told the reporter that he has been actively looking for another place to live, but Young doesn't believe him.
"Every time I've been there, he tells me he's leaving in two weeks," she said. "He's leaving in two weeks. He just cannot find a place."
While the legal process continues, Young has attempted to have the utilities shut off, but since the home still has a resident living in it, the city has refused, leaving Young with a $1,300 water bill. Murray has also never repaired a window broken during the shooting which wounded him last September, and the grounds appear to be poorly maintained, with trash and other debris scattered throughout the front yard.
"It's been a nightmare," Young stated.
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