After $1.4M Home Becomes Nightmare, Couple Sues Town

Derek, Maria Broaddus can't sell home, are suing Westfield, NJ
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2017 3:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – A New Jersey family who wants to demolish their home after they claim they were stalked by an anonymous creepy-letter writer known as "The Watcher" has filed a lawsuit against their town. Derek and Maria Broaddus filed the suit against Westfield after its planning board rejected their plan to raze the house and subdivide the land so they could build two houses. They say they can't live in the house because of the letters. "My clients are good people. They're caught in a situation they didn't ask for," says an attorney representing the owners. The couple says that after buying the six-bedroom house for nearly $1.4 million in 2014, they received three threatening letters from a stalker calling himself "The Watcher." Police investigated the letters but have been unable to identify their author.

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In one correspondence the stalker asks whether the new family brought him the "young blood" that he requested. The Broadduses, who have young children, refused to move into the home and have been unsuccessful in their attempts to sell the property (it was listed for $1.25 million last year). The family sued the prior owners of the house in June 2015, claiming that they also received a letter from "The Watcher" but never disclosed it. That family has since counter-sued, stating that the letter they received was not threatening and alleging that they were defamed through the amount of attention given to the lawsuit. Residents of the neighborhood have joined together in protest of the Broadduses' lawsuit against the town, arguing that the smaller lots would be out of character for the community, reports the AP. Read more excerpts from the letters here. (Read more stalker stories.)

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