By Dianne Gallagher
Rock Hill, SC (WCNC/CNN) - A South Carolina woman found something unexpected in the home she shares with her children.
A man was living in her attic.
"As much as I walk this house and make sure my doors are locked, but the sad part is I was locking this man in the house with us," said the unidentified home owner.
She's afraid to show her face, but says on Saturday she had just put her children to bed when she heard thumping coming from the attic area above her room.
"A few minutes later that's when the nails started popping out of the ceiling one by one. It was like, bing bing bing," she said.
Thinking it was an animal, she called her older sons and nephew to check it out.
"My nephew was like, if there's something up there then it's coming down,' said the woman.
What they found up those stairs still gives everyone in the house chills.
"They found him, the guy, asleep inside my heating unit. He had packed coats and stuff into the heating unit," she said.
The man ran down the stairs and out of the house as she was calling the police.
"They found several cups of feces and urine, where he'd been using the bathroom," she said.
The unwelcome attic resident is not a stranger.
"This is a guy I knew from the past that had came and helped remodel my house and everything," she said.
Perhaps most unsettling is there is no outside entrance to the attic.
"He had to come through the door or the window but he had to come through the door. Because my attic is inside my house in between my kids bedrooms. They're scared to sleep in the rooms so everybody is like, camping in the living room together. I know a lot of people are going to say how why wouldn't you know. Believe me, it's something out of your wildest dreams. I can't sleep, violated, I mean I want him arrested," she said.
Police don't know how long the man was living there, but say it couldn't have been for more than two weeks.
That's because they say he was in jail for other unrelated crimes.