MESQUITE, Texas — The owners of an apartment complex in Mesquite are apologizing to a single mother and her three kids after the family came home to find their place disheveled, belongings gone, and valuables tossed out on Wednesday.
The family lives at Prescott Place Apartments.
The mother, 35-year-old Shequila Brown, said her 9-year-old daughter discovered the mess when she came home from school.
Clothes were on the floor, food was pulled out of cabinets, beds were broken down, and electronics were nowhere to be found.
"I suspected that we were hit by burglars," Brown said. "But there was no forced entry."
Brown said she contacted management about the issue, as well as the police.
And that's when she says she learned something both unbelievable and heartbreaking.
"An employee looked up at my door number, his face dropped, and then he walked out," Brown said. "I overheard him talking to a manager about making a mistake."
"He said that they were supposed to be cleaning and trashing-out Apt. 1013 Phase Two, but instead trashed out Apt. 1013 Phase One."
Brown said she learned there was another apartment in the complex with a number similar to hers, and that it was scheduled to be cleaned out.
"They mixed-up my apartment for another one," Brown said.
And there's a lot of things missing, too.
"I had televisions missing, game systems, missing AirPods, iPads, and my kid's computers that I just bought them," Brown said.
Some of those televisions were recovered, but Brown said that clothes were missing too.
Brown added that her 12-year-old son had no clothes to wear to school on Thursday.
"I just, I feel violated...like really violated," she said.
But there's also irreplaceable items missing too.
Brown said that one of her jewelry boxes is gone, and three necklaces containing the ashes of her 4-year-old niece were inside.
That niece, Faith Whitsett, died in November of last year.
"You can't replace ashes," Brown said. "This really was my heart, my favorite niece. I can't get these back."
WFAA was curious how common a mix-up like this is. We reached out to Sandy Rollins, who is a representative of the Texas Tenants' Union.
Rollins told us that she had never heard of a story like Brown's.
She also added that it was extremely rare to hear that an apartment threw away or cleaned out a resident's belongings by accident.
Managers at the apartment forwarded WFAA to its owners Adara Communities.
A spokesperson sent a statement Thursday evening:
"We Are aware of a possible incident involving an administrative mistake by a team member. We are regretful to have learned of this incident and understand the frustration this can cause our resident(s). we have been in constant contact with our resident by way of our community manager and we are working diligently to make things right. We offer our most sincere apology to our resident(s) and are confident this will be resolved soon."
But when WFAA read that statement to Brown, she said her apartment needs to have a better response.
"They owe me to get me back to where I was at the beginning," Brown said. "They owe me everything."
Prescott Place is now paying for Brown to stay in a hotel. Brown is also working with her apartment to find out what exactly happened to her things.