Ralph and Marcella Bracamonte were looking for a live-in nanny for their three children, ages 11, 4 and 1. She would also be responsible for housework and perhaps even pitch in with the cooking. After placing an ad on Craigslist, they found 64-year-old Diane Stretton. She appeared to be a kindly woman, part Mrs. Doubtfire and part Alice from the Brady Bunch.
The first two months went smoothly, and the family was delighted. Then, according to the Bracamontes, the nanny nightmare began. They allege that Stretton stopped working and remained holed up in her room. After she refused to work for several days, the Bracamontes fired her and ordered her to leave their home.
Diane Stretton refused.
According to several news reports, the Bracamontes filed legal papers to evict her from their Upland, California, home – but it was the wrong paperwork. They reportedly called the police, who told them that it was a civil matter and there was nothing they could do.
“I think she actually spends her day trying to ruin people’s lives,” an exasperated Marcella Bracamonte, 31, told Good Morning America, “and misery loves company.”
That company may stay for a long time. The family has to go through formal eviction proceedings, which real-estate experts say could take up to six months. In the meantime, they are stuck with an unwanted visitor in their spare bedroom. They have put a bike lock on the refrigerator so she can’t eat their food.
When a local CBS reporter asked Stretton why she wouldn’t leave, the nanny wouldn’t comment.
On Wednesday night, the Bracamontes served Stretton with the revised paperwork. She has three days to respond, according to CBS. If she refuses to leave, the Bracamontes have no choice but to begin the expensive, drawn-out process of evicting a tenant.
“This person is in our house, and I have to go to work,” Ralph Bracamonte, 35, tells CBS. “She towers over my wife, my kids. And I know there is nothing I can do about it.”