College Student Who Thought She Had a Ghost in Her Home Allegedly Finds Man Holed Up in Closet
Andrew Clyde Swofford allegedly snuck into the closet of a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Something mysterious was happening in the off-campus apartment of Maddie, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Handprints began appearing on her bathroom walls. Items of her clothing went missing without explanation.
Maddie was flummoxed, and began to believe there was a ghost. But according to Maddie, the truth, which emerged last Saturday, was even stranger.
“I just hear rattling in my closet. It sounded like a raccoon in my closet,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Who’s there?’ And somebody answers me. He’s like ‘Oh my name is Drew,’ ” Maddie, who is identified in news reports by her first name only, told local outlet Fox8.
Police allege “Drew” is 30-year-old Andrew Clyde Swofford, who now faces multiple charges, according to a spokesman for the Greensboro Police Department, who confirms to PEOPLE Maddie’s allegations.
When Maddie first encountered him on the other side of her closet door, she asked him a series of questions, she told CBS affiliate WFMY: ” ‘Are you gonna do anything to me? Are you gonna do anything?’ And he’s like no, no, no.”
After trying and failing to make an emergency call from her Apple watch, she decided to open the door when she felt him trying to push the door open, she told WFMY.
At that point, according to Fox 8, she saw a man “in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes.”
She decided to calmly speak with the man to keep him distracted, all the while texting her boyfriend about what was happening.
“He tries on my hat. He goes in the bathroom and looks in the mirror and then is like, ‘You’re really pretty, can I give you a hug?’ ” she recalled to Fox 8. “But he never touched me.”
She added to WFMY that the man “was telling me everything about his life.”
She believes Swofford had been in her apartment before Saturday, even though she’d never seen him.
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“We always joke that there’s a ghost in here because I’ve been missing clothes since I’ve been living here, like shirts — like a shirt at a time or pants at this time — it makes me think he’s been here before,” she told WFMY.
Only when Maddie’s boyfriend showed up — about 10 minutes after she opened the closet door — did Swofford leave the apartment, she said.
Maddie told WFMY she already had concerns about the safety of her building that had prompted her to sign a new lease.
This past December, she and her roommates found two strange men in their living room, she told Fox 8 — even though their doors are always locked, and they’ve never seen any damage to them. At the time, the women informed the property managers, Burkely Communities, who changed their locks but didn’t call the cops, the company told the station.
“Last night I did not feel safe. I slept with my roommate in her bed,” Maddie told Fox 8 earlier this week. “I can’t stay here. My closet, it stinks. Every time I go in [my room] there’s a bad vibe. I’m just ready to leave.”
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Burkely Communities did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
According to Fox 8, Swofford had already faced 14 felony charges including larceny and identity theft before he was allegedly spotted in Maddie’s closet. After Saturday, he was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering, WFMY reports.
He is currently in Guilford County Jail on $26,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea to any of the charges against him or retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.