Chicago family battles ‘professional squatter’ who took over late mother’s home and left a bullet hole in the window
A Chicago woman says a squatter with a long criminal history took possession of her late mother’s house and has been refusing to leave since September.
Darthula Young says CBS Chicago this week that she received a call from neighbors in September informing her that there had been a shooting inside the house in the Chatham neighborhood that her mother had left for the family after her death.
When Young arrived home, the locks had been changed and there was a bullet hole in the front window, she told the outlet.
“The person who was shot in the apartment – this guy named Takito Murray – came back from the hospital and informed us and the police that he was now living there, that he had rights – he was a professional squatter,” Young said.
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Young said Chicago police told her she had to go through the court system and had been trying to do so without success since September.
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“It’s been a nightmare,” Young said.
CBS Chicago reported that Murray had been arrested on drug and weapons charges at least six times since 2017 and the outlet was able to confront Murray outside the house.
“I’m in the process of finding a place to stay,” Murray told the outlet. “You can’t move like that.”
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Murray claims he plans to leave in April or May, but Young said he routinely claims to leave soon and then stays put.
“Every time I’ve been there he tells me he’s leaving in two weeks,” Young said. “He’s leaving in two weeks. He just can’t find a place.”
“So you recognize that it was his mother’s building – that his mother owned it?” journalist Charlie De Mar asked Murray.
“Yeah, I guess I recognize — his mom and siblings, that was their building,” Murray replied. He said he was renting the property from one of Young’s siblings, but could not provide proof.
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Young said the city didn’t shut off the water since someone was technically living there and she had to pay a $1,300 bill.
Michael Zink, a landlord-tenant lawyer who is not involved in the case, told the outlet that evictions for squatters in Chicago can take six to eight months through the court system.
“The problem with the police is that when they show up at a scene like that, they don’t know who’s telling the truth,” Zink said.
Zink said squats in Chicago are on the rise and Fox News Digital reported earlier this month, squatters in the same area of Chatham had taken over the home of another woman’s deceased mother and claimed to live there legally.