Breaking News Emails
It sounds like the plot of a horror movie — but for one family, this story is all too real.
A couple says they were forced out of their dream house after receiving threatening letters from someone who goes by an ominous name: "The Watcher."
Derek and Maria Broaddus of Westfield, New Jersey, filed a lawsuit in Union County civil court earlier this month against the previous owners of their home. The couple alleged that the former owners did not warn them about the threats from "The Watcher."
The couple alleges that “The Watcher” sent them and their three children a trio of threatening letters last summer. According to court documents obtained by NBC News, the mysterious writer allegedly asked the family, “Why are you here? I will find out.”
The first letter was received on June 5, 2014 — just three days after the family closed on their 1.3 million dollar home.
“My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time,” the letter read.
A subsequent letter said: “Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will … I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought to me.”
“Who has the bedrooms, facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in,” the letter continued. “It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better.”
The family was so terrified by the ominous letters that they refused to move into their new home, located on 657 Boulevard in Westfield. The couple attempted to sell the house, but potential buyers were purportedly scared off.
They claim that the former owners knew of the threats and should have known of the strange stalker's claim of ownership of the home.
According to the suit, the “plaintiffs have been consumed daily by stress, anxiety, and fear regarding what ‘The Watcher’ will do.”
Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky addressed the letters at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, saying the identity of “The Watcher” remained a mystery.
“When over a year ago this matter was reported to the police, our police department conducted an exhaustive investigation based on the factual circumstances and evidence available,” Mayor Skibitsky said in a statement. “Our Police Department did go the extra mile, including consulting with the Union County Prosecutor's Office, to make sure no stone was left unturned. Such efforts have not, however, yielded information leading to charges being filed.”
Westfield Police Chief David Wayman confirmed they had seen the letters but did not have any suspects as of Thursday afternoon.
"The investigation is pending. We are continuing to follow up on any leads," Wayman said.
The Broaddus family is seeking damages for fraud and breach of contract.