Last week, a single mom with two kids who moved into a new apartment in Nebraska says she arrived home days after move-in to find her and her three kids’ possessions had disappeared from their new apartment.
Stephanie Gunia, 31, works a demanding job as a store manager at Kwik Shop, where she had already put in 54 hours by Thursday last week. She picked up her kids aged 1, 3, and 7, and arrived home to find their apartment empty.
Gunia told KETV 7 Omaha that she knew something was not right.
”I knew something was wrong right when I walked in the door and saw my mat was gone,” the single mom said.
‘”We walked in and there was nothing in our apartment except for a mattress, My kids’ stuff was gone, their clothes, everything.”
It turned out that her own building management was at fault, she find out that everything they owned had been cleared out by the complex’s management company, who had mistaken the unit for another belonging to a tenant being evicted.
The family’s belongings, the emotional mom said while tearing up, were strewn in several dumpsters in the parking lot of the La Vista apartment complex, covered in trash and grime.
“Our stuff was in five of the seven dumpsters,I just went grocery shopping the day before, all that food is ruined, food was mixed in with the toys, and there was like beer and trash “gooze” all over my kids’ stuff, our clothes”
“My kids were crying because they were scared, they don’t know what’s going on, they don’t know why somebody threw their stuff away in a trash can. “
The mom was forced to dumpster dive for her life’s belongings. The groceries she had just bought, her children’s toys, and all their clothes were mixed with trash across five different dumpsters.
“A lot of it was damaged. You can’t really save most of it because it had beer and trash goop all over it.”
Richdale Management Company, which operates Inwood Village apartments, reportedly told Gunia that movers were attempting to evict a tenant and cleared out the wrong apartment. The complex issued Gunia a $250 gift card. According to Gunia, the complex also promised to send cleaners to her apartment, but they never showed up.
The single mom said her children were traumatized and struggled to understand the incident, particularly her 7-year-old son who is autistic and has ADHD. Now he starts crying whenever they approach the building and begs not to go inside.
“Money cannot replace the hurt my kids are feeling or the family heirlooms, those ultrasound pictures, the baby books. The main part I’m upset about is my kids losing their safe space.”
Even when the property is abandoned by a former tenant in Nebraska, landlords are required to give notice before disposing of their possessions. The former resident has seven days to claim property if the notice is personally delivered by their landlord and 14 days if the notice is mailed, according to legal publisher Nolo.
A friend has set up a GoFundMe for the family in the hopes that it would help them get back on their feet. So far, almost $6,000 has been donated.
Watch it here: Youtube/KETV NewsWatch