Marcella Bracamonte says she and her husband, Ralph, hired 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 elder
"I am very frustrated and very upset. She'd stay in her room 90
percent of the day," Bracamonte told Reuters on Friday. "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 says she is frightened for her children and her property,
adding: "Obviously, she isn't right in the head."
Police have declined to intervene in 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 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
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
[to top of second column]
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
"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.”
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Cynthia
Johnston and Gunna Dickson)
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