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Lehigh family's home destroyed, burglarized while on vacation

Posted at 1:29 AM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 01:47:07-04

A Lehigh Acres family said they came home from their vacation to their home destroyed, their car and other valuables stolen, and the woman who was watching over their home missing.

The woman watching their home was a relative they thought they could trust. They asked her to watch over the home and their pets while they were away, but said instead, she invited strangers over to do drugs and party.

James Springer took his wife Melissa and their six kids to Tennessee and to Busch Gardens to get away over spring break.

"Just spend some family time together," Melissa Springer said.

Their trip ended a day early when they got a call from a family member saying their car was missing and the inside of their home was destroyed.

"There's a hole that goes all the way through my wall and into my living room," James Springer said. "They took a baseball there from what I can see, because we found a bat with the dry wall all over it. They smoked in my house, they stabbed holes in my mattress."

Their most valuable possessions were gone.

"My TV -- there was a 65 inch TV right there with surround sound, PS3s, all kinds of games," James Springer said.

Four other TVs, five other gaming consoles, a laptop, smaller electronics, a generator, a jewelry box of antique jewelry, and their car were among other items stolen.

"I'm devastated for my kids because they took everything from them," Melissa Springer said.

"{They left behind} crack pipes. Looks like a spoon they cooked heroin on, 8-10 bags with a cross between coke and heroin. Actual cocaine in my bathroom," James Springer said. "A wild drug orgy or something, because some weird stuff in my bedroom."

They said they left a cousin, Amanda Geer, with their key to check up on their home and take care of their animals. Instead, they said their animals weren't fed or given water and were left in poor conditions.

They found a man's prescription pill bottles, a bag of his clothes and toiletries inside their home. They said Geer has since disappeared and won't respond to their texts or calls.

"I didn't think she would ever do something like this," James Springer said. "My youngest daughter, she's even afraid to even be here." 

The Lee County Sheriff's Office is investigating and were able to lift prints off of a window at the home.

If you've seen Geer or the family's black 2004 Toyota Camry, call the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help get back on their feet.