Thursday, 3 July 2014 | MYT 3:05 PM

Family under siege: Nightmare nanny refuses to leave

A California family is exasperated by their live-in nanny who stopped working but refuses to leave their house even after she had been fired.

Marcella Bracamonte says she and her husband, Ralph, hired 64-year-old Diane Stretton in early March to do chores and watch over their children, ages 11, 4 and 1, in exchange for room and board in their home in Upland, in the Los Angeles area.

About three weeks later, however, Stretton stopped working, saying she has a chronic pulmonary disease, and ignored repeated requests to leave the house, Bracamonte said. She added that the woman also threatened to sue the family for wrongful termination and abuse of the elderly.

Face of terror: Under the sweetness of Diane Stretton's homely visage is a chronic abuser of the legal system and her latest victims are the Bracamonte family from whose house she's refused to leave despite being fired from her job as a live-in nanny barely a month when she was hired.

"I am very frustrated and very upset. She’d stay in her room 90% of the day," Bracamonte said. "She was never there to help prepare a meal but was always there to eat the meal, and that was really the only time I would see her." Bracamonte also added that she's frightened for her children and property. “Obviously, she isn’t right in the head.”

Police have declined to intervene in what they deem as a civil matter, Bracamonte said, so the family has started a formal eviction process, which they fear could take months.

An Upland police official declined to comment specifically on the case but said that once a person establishes residency, they must be "formally evicted" under California law, a process that could lead to a court-ordered "forcible eviction" carried out by county sheriff’s deputies.

Stretton, who was hired after answering the family’s ad on Craigslist, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Her name appears on California’s so-called Vexatious Litigant Lists. Bracamonte said the nanny has not been in the family home for about a day.

Video footage from local CBS-affiliate KCAL shows Ralph Bracamonte handing a stoic-looking Stretton a court document as she walks through the living room to her bedroom, and then removes a taped piece of paper from her door. Another image is that of a bicycle lock securing the refrigerator door handles.

"I am scared that she is going to poison our food, that’s why we lock our fridge," Bracamonte said. "I am scared that one day I will come home and I will be locked out of my house. I am scared because her room is right across from my kids. I am scared because she knows the law so well. I am scared that, in this whole fiasco, we are going to get hurt." — Reuters

LATEST UPDATE: In a Fox News article published on June 30, Diane Stretton announced that she has decided to leave the Bracamonte residence on July 4, but with conditions. Stretton, who was also recently revealed to have been homeless for nine years before she moved in with the Bracamontes, said to the family that she would only leave "as long as the weather cool" and that it would three days for her to move out. The saga continues...

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Features , nanny


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